Governor Ernie Fletcher’s Communications Office
Governor Fletcher Recognizes Oldham County's Energy Star Schools

Press Release Date:  Tuesday, March 20, 2007  
Contact Information:  Jodi Whitaker
502-564-2611

John Davies
800-282-0868
 


FRANKFORT, Ky. – On March 19, Education Cabinet Secretary Laura Emberton Owens and Talina Mathews, Executive Director of the Governor’s Office of Energy Policy’s (GOEP), presented an ENERGY STAR recognition award to representatives from Oldham County Schools.  Kenwood Station Elementary is being recognized for its achievement of being in the top one-fourth most energy efficient schools in the nation.

Cut line for attached photo: Pictured (from left to right): Paul Murray, Director of Maintenance for Oldham County Schools; Jess Farber, CMTA, Inc.; Doug Hundley, CMTA, Inc.; Laura Emberton Owens, Secretary of the Ky. Education Cabinet; Paul Upchurch, Superintendent of Oldham County Schools; Jim Ewalt, Director Facilities Management for Oldham County Schools; Stan Klausing, Scott/Klausing and Co. Architects; and Talina Mathews, Executive Director of the Governor’s Office of Energy PolicyOn February 18, Governor Ernie Fletcher recognized Kentucky’s sixth ENERGY STAR certified school.  In addition to Kenwood Station Elementary, Oldham County Schools was notified within the last two weeks that another one of their schools, Harmony Elementary, was awarded ENERGY STAR certification with an energy performance score higher than any other school in the state.

“I want to congratulate Oldham County Schools for their leadership in designing and operating ENERGY STAR buildings that will save energy, reduce operating costs and be better for the environment,” said Governor Fletcher. 

Partnering with ENERGY STAR is a commitment to students as well as to the environment.  The annual energy bill to run America's primary and secondary schools is a staggering $6 billion — more than is spent on textbooks and computers combined.  Nationwide, the least energy-efficient schools use about three times as much energy as do schools with the best energy performance.  Schools can redirect dollars saved from using less energy to address other important issues. 

“A quality school environment can spur a quality education,” said Kentucky Education Secretary Laura Emberton Owens.  “On behalf of Governor Fletcher, I want to congratulate the Oldham County School System for their ENERGY STAR designation and their commitment to protecting our environment and reducing their energy costs while providing the best learning experience in the classroom.”

Many schools still view energy as an uncontrollable cost.  Consequently, the value of strategic energy management is frequently overlooked.  ENERGY STAR helps schools take control of energy use by providing the best information, tools and resources for improving energy and environmental performance. 

“We are able to save about 25 percent on our energy costs at Kenwood Station,” said Oldham County Schools Superintendent Paul Upchurch. “Reduced operating cost means more resources in our General Fund to support personnel and our instructional program.”

ENERGY STAR schools aren’t just better energy performers – they must also meet strict standards for thermal comfort, indoor air quality and illuminance levels, all of which contributes to an enhanced teaching and learning environment.

According to Talina Mathews, Executive Director of GOEP, “Recognizing the achievements of these schools reflects Governor Fletcher’s support of improved energy efficiency in Kentucky’s schools.”

Governor Fletcher issued the state’s first comprehensive energy strategy in February 2005 (Kentucky's Energy:  Opportunities for Our Future).  It contains 54 recommendations to guide the Commonwealth's policy-making as it relates to energy.  Included in the Governor’s recommendations is the development of public-private partnerships to promote energy efficiency through education and outreach.  ENERGY STAR has become one of the catalysts to put that recommendation into action.

Cut line for attached photo: Pictured (from left to right): Paul Murray, Director of Maintenance for Oldham County Schools; Jess Farber, CMTA, Inc.; Doug Hundley, CMTA, Inc.; Laura Emberton Owens, Secretary of the Ky. Education Cabinet; Paul Upchurch, Superintendent of Oldham County Schools; Jim Ewalt, Director Facilities Management for Oldham County Schools; Stan Klausing, Scott/Klausing and Co. Architects; and Talina Mathews, Executive Director of the Governor’s Office of Energy Policy


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