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green schools

Sep 21, 2011

Kentucky Celebrates More than 100 Energy Star Schools

by Nancy Reinhart — last modified Sep 21, 2011 09:40 AM

Re-posted from the Alliance To Save Energy

On Thursday, Aug. 16, Millbrooke Elementary School in Christian County, Ky., hosted an awards ceremony to celebrate the certification of the 100th ENERGY STAR school in the state. Organized by County Energy Manager Bob Valentine, the event also honored four ENERGY STAR-certified schools in Christian County – all of which are partnered with the Alliance to Save Energy’s Green Schools program sponsored by the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA).

Keynote speaker and first lady of Kentucky Jane Beshear joined representatives from TVA, local officials and business leaders to honor the state’s ENERGY STAR schools. Since Gov. Steve Beshear took office in 2007, Mrs. Beshear has devoted herself to efficiency initiatives including the Kentucky Green Team and Energy Conservation, which aim to bring energy efficiency to homes, schools and businesses across the state. Kentucky schools have followed suit, increasing the number of ENERGY STAR schools from eight in 2006 to 105 in 2011.

Students Save Energy at School, Home
Students are the key element to a school successfully gaining ENERGY STAR certification. Accordingly, the Green Schools program focuses on giving students an active role in their school’s energy saving initiatives.

Each school has a “Green Team” comprised of students, teachers and staff who work to educate themselves and the school community about the importance of saving energy – at school and at home. Mrs. Beshear noted that students’ hard work on saving energy translates into more money for the school district.

ENERGY STAR Schools Save Thousands of Dollars
The Green Teams made great strides at all four ENERGY STAR-certified schools to promote energy-saving behaviors in students, teachers and parents.

Through campus and community education, the students promote such simple behavioral changes as turning off lights in unused rooms, changing the thermostat a few degrees, and turning off computers and appliances when not in use. Changes like these helped the schools save more than 120,000 kWh of power over the past year, which amounts to over $20,000 saved. Their effort is underscored by the fact that all four schools were built more than 45 years ago.

Green Schools: Growing in Kentucky
The savings continue to add up. Christian County now has eight K-12 schools participating in the Green Schools program, many of them returning for their second year with the program. With continued success of the program, Green Schools hopes to engage more students and the entire community in learning and living energy efficiency.

Rep. Mary Lou Marzian, chief sponsor of the clean energy bill KySEA supports, is a leader in the "Green Schools Caucus" effort in Frankfort. The caucus has helped to facilitate funding to make many of these schools possible.