Major renovations at two elementary schools resulted in substantial energy cost savings and state recognition.
Maryville and Mt. Washington Elementary Schools were in the top eight performing buildings in the Kentucky School Board Association’s School Energy Managers Project (SEMP) annual Battle of the School Buildings competition.
Both facilities previously had open floor plans. Making smaller equipment controlled spaces had a considerable energy savings impact.
District Energy Manager Kimberly Joseph said over 20% in energy reduction was realized at each one of these sites.
“The District’s investment in the renovations not only provided better learning environments for our students, but they are certainly healthier, more energy efficient buildings - which saves the taxpayers and our budget dollars over the long run,” she said.
Joseph explained that the KSBA Battle of the School Buildings is supposed to mirror the Energy Star Battle of the Buildings competition.
“The EPA, through Energy Star, used to hold these competitions - open to any organization that wanted to compete with a qualifying building (office building, school, hotels, stores, etc.),” she said. “The main requirement is that they had to use Energy Star’s tracking tool, Portfolio Manager, to track energy consumption and cost, and they could also compete by tracking and reducing water usage and garbage/waste.”
Energy Star would give the competitors a timeline for the competition, and then recognize top performers at the end of the competition.
“You were recognized if you had significant reductions in energy use, water use, or a reduction in the amount of garbage/waste your facility was producing,” Joseph said.
KSBA started their own competition, using a similar format, but only allowing Kentucky schools to register and compete.
“Districts had to sign up each building individually and then provide them with read-only access to our Energy Star Portfolio Manager accounts. They gather data on our energy usage throughout the calendar year,” Joseph said.
Maryville Elementary Principal Ruth Esterle said her staff works hard to follow district guidelines for Energy savings.
“Our newly renovated building provides many features that help us conserve energy,” she said. “No longer having the open settings in our building gives us the flexibility to conserve energy from location to location.”
She gave a shout out to Joseph for her efforts.
“Kimberly Joseph works with us consistently to help us keep things regulated,” Esterle noted.
Mt. Washington Elementary Principal Terri Lewis said the rating was not surprising due to the work of district support staff and student leaders.
“Since the renovation, our support staff has worked to keep consistent temperatures throughout the building,” Lewis said. “Another energy saver has been the motion- sensored lighting as a part of the renovation. In addition to district support, every week our student Energy Team walks through the building to audit energy use as a reminder to be an efficient energy consumer.”
Maryville and Mt. Washington Elementary were recognized during the Closing General Session of the 2018 School Energy Summit in Lexington.