Efficiency Vermont promotes energy savings for schools

Montpelier, VT

Representatives of the Vermont Department of Education, the Vermont Superintendents Association, and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) joined Efficiency Vermont today at an award ceremony to recognize 22 schools for their excellent energy performance. Each school received an ENERGY STAR designation for meeting stringent standards for energy use and creating healthy learning environments. The ceremony, held at U-32 High School in Montpelier, also celebrated the continued progress of Project Green School, an initiative that aims to help all Vermont schools achieve the ENERGY STAR designation.

The 22 schools that were honored today represent communities from all corners of the state: Addison Central School, C.P. Smith Elementary School (Burlington), Chamberlin School (South Burlington), Champlain Elementary School (Burlington), Essex Elementary School, Essex Middle School, Founders Memorial School (Essex Junction), Fred H. Tuttle Middle School (South Burlington), Hinesburg Community School, J.J. Flynn Elementary School (Burlington), Lamoille Union Middle & High School (Hyde Park), Marion W. Cross School (Norwich), Middlebury Union Middle School, Orchard School (South Burlington), Rick Marcotte Central School (South Burlington), Samuel Morey Elementary School (Fairlee), South Burlington High School, St. Albans City School, St. Albans Town Educational Center, Sustainability Academy at Lawrence Barnes (Burlington), U-32 High School (Montpelier), Westshire Elementary School (West Fairlee). Burlington Electric Department, the city energy efficiency provider, played a key role in helping each Burlington-based school achieve the ENERGY STAR designation.

With the 11 schools recognized in 2013 as Vermont’s first ENERGY STAR schools, approximately 10% of Vermont schools are now certified. These schools have implemented a wide variety of cost-effective strategies, demonstrating that creating a healthy, energy-efficient school is within reach for every school in Vermont.  The economic benefits are clear: top-rated ENERGY STAR schools spend $0.40 less per square foot in energy costs than an average school. For a 50,000 square foot school, this equals approximately $20,000 in annual savings.

“I’m so impressed to see that the number of ENERGY STAR-certified schools in Vermont has tripled over the past year,” said EPA Regional Administrator Curt Spalding.   “Improving energy efficiency saves their local community money, while also helping to reduce greenhouse gas emissions that cause climate change. These Vermont communities are showing real leadership.”

“We are excited to see that the support and interest in this important effort continues to grow,” said Vermont Education Secretary Rebecca Holcombe. “The ENERGY STAR designation aligns with our goal to ensure that every Vermont student has access to a healthy and comfortable learning environment – all while improving their understanding of the impacts of energy use on the environment and their communities.”

Vermont schools have long been a leader in the implementation of energy efficiency measures and the adoption of renewable energy generation. Over the last 14 years, Efficiency Vermont and the Vermont Superintendents Association’s School Energy Management Program have supported more than 1200 energy efficiency projects at over 350 schools, delivering in excess of $43 million dollars in energy savings over the lifetime of the projects. In the area of renewable energy, Vermont has pioneered the use of modern wood heating systems and more than 54 Vermont schools currently use wood for heating fuel.  

“The 22 schools we are honoring today have done truly great work,” said Liz Gamache, Director of Efficiency Vermont. “We look forward to collaborating with all of the Project Green School partners to ensure that every community in Vermont can reduce costs by creating a healthier and more energy efficient environment for their students.”

“By attaining ENERGY STAR designation, these Vermont schools are not only bringing educational and health benefits to students, but also economic benefits to local tax payers,” said Jeff Francis, Executive Director of the Vermont Superintendents Association. “Energy efficiency projects allow schools to take control of their energy costs, freeing up crucial funds and supporting Vermont communities.”

To learn more about Project Green School, or support your local school’s efforts to participate, visit www.efficiencyvermont.com/projectgreenschool.

About Efficiency Vermont

Efficiency Vermont was created by the Vermont Legislature and is regulated by the Vermont Public Utility Commission to help all Vermonters reduce energy costs, strengthen the economy, and protect Vermont's environment. For more information, contact Efficiency Vermont at 888-921-5990 or visit www.efficiencyvermont.com

Efficiency Vermont
Alayna Howard
Phone: (802) 540-7656
press@veic.org