Vermont schools at head of energy efficiency class
Vermont kids may well be learning in the most energy efficient schools in the country, according to findings of an efficiency study completed recently by Efficiency Vermont.
This achievement is the result of an ongoing collaboration between Efficiency Vermont, Vermont Superintendents Association School Energy Management Program (VSA-SEMP), the Vermont Association of School Business Officials, and Vermont schools that have made significant energy efficiency improvements over time. Schools included in the study that are in the Burlington school district are served by Burlington Electric Department energy efficiency programs.
An “A” for efficiency:
Efficiency Vermont created a statistically valid random sample of the more than 300 public schools in the state in order to accurately quantify overall energy efficiency performance, utilizing the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s ENERGY STAR® Portfolio Manager. This tool generates an ENERGY STAR rating on a scale of 1-100, with 100 being most efficient, 50 representing the national average, and 75 meeting Energy Star criteria as an efficient school. Vermont schools achieved a median score of 90.
“Because of the work school facility managers have done, along with the efforts of Efficiency Vermont and VSA-SEMP, our schools are far more efficient today. Vermont’s Comprehensive Energy Plan recognized that improving the efficiency of our buildings is the first step on the road to achieving our goal of 90 percent renewable energy by 2050, and our schools are well positioned to meet that goal,” said Christopher Recchia, Commissioner, Vermont Public Service Department.
In addition to energy efficiency improvements, many Vermont schools are already on the path to renewable energy. More than one-third of Vermont’s school children currently attend biomass-heated schools, and many schools are considering entering long-term agreements to purchase solar power as part of their electric supply.
“Our superintendents, principals, school boards, and school facility managers are to be commended for the tremendous work they have done,” said Vermont Secretary of Education Rebecca Holcombe. “We can all be proud of the investment we have made into assuring our school facilities provide a comfortable and healthy learning environment for our children while reducing school energy costs.”
“Vermont schools have shown tremendous leadership over the years improving energy efficiency and setting the stage for a clean energy future,” said Liz Gamache, Director, Efficiency Vermont. “They are a key part of the energy efficiency system we have built in the state, and their efforts contribute significantly to savings for all Vermonters.”
For more information about the study findings see our fact sheet on benchmarking school energy performance in Vermont.
About Efficiency Vermont
As the nation’s first Energy Efficiency Utility, Efficiency Vermont has helped Vermont avoid over 12 million metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions and has received the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s ENERGY STAR Program for sustained excellence award for the last six consecutive years. Efficiency Vermont works with partners to help our state transition to a more affordable, low carbon energy future through education, incentives, and support for our clean energy workforce. For more information, contact Efficiency Vermont at (888) 921-5990 or visit www.efficiencyvermont.com.
About Vermont Superintendents Association School Energy Management Program
The School Energy Management Program (VSA-SEMP) began in 1993 as a program of the Vermont Superintendents Association and works cooperatively with Vermont’s k-12 schools to help them address their energy needs. For more information, contact VSA-SEMP at 802-229-1017 or contact Program Director Norm Etkind at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.vtvsa.org
Phone: (802) 540-7662