Office of Energy Policy
Kentucky’s First Four ENERGY STAR Schools Recognized

Press Release Date:  Friday, July 21, 2006  
Contact Information:  Lola Lyle

     On July 20, Education Cabinet Secretary Virginia Fox and John Davies, the Office of Energy Policy’s (KOEP) Director of the Division of Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency, presented ENERGY STAR recognition awards to representatives from Warren County and Jefferson County Public Schools.  The schools being recognized were Drakes Creek Middle School, Henry Moss Middle School, and Warren East Middle School in Warren County, as well as Isaac Shelby Elementary in Jefferson County.

     On May 31, Governor Ernie Fletcher recognized Kentucky’s first four ENERGY STAR certified schools.  These two school districts were acknowledged for their outstanding efforts to improve the energy efficiency of their buildings.

      “I want to congratulate Jefferson County Public Schools and Warren County Public 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. 

     “Quality learning only happens in a quality school environment,” said Stephen Daeschner, Superintendent of Jefferson County Public Schools.  “The EPA’s ENERGY STAR Award for Isaac Shelby Elementary School recognizes our District’s efforts to provide superior energy performance in our school buildings and demonstrates our commitment to the responsible management of our resources.  We’re proud to be a leader and a national model in improving the environment and in promoting energy efficiency.”

     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. 

     “Warren County Public School System has taken a proactive stance to address building construction by training of staff and faculty to be more conscientious,” said Dale Brown, Superintendent of Warren County Public Schools.  “It has taken a constant team effort from all parties involved, and has been done with the idea of teaching students about energy efficiency now so that they will be better energy users in the future.”

     “Creating an energy efficient school requires a three part responsibility between the building owner for its operation, the architect for the building envelope, and the engineer for the building’s systems – it’s truly a team effort,” Doug Hundley, engineer for CMTA Engineering Consultants, stated.  “You can build ENERGY STAR certified schools without spending extra money, but you need to make good decisions when you design the building.”

According to Andrew McNeill, Acting Executive Director of KOEP, “Recognizing the achievements of these schools reflects Governor Fletcher’s support of improved energy efficiency in Kentucky’s schools.”

     “This year, I signed an agreement making Kentucky the fourth state in the union to become and ENERGY STAR partner,” said Governor Fletcher.  “These actions put us well along the path to achieving the goals outlined in Kentucky’s energy strategy.”

     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):  John Davies, Director of the Division of Renewable Energy & Energy Efficiency; Mike Mulheirn, JCPS Executive Director for Facilities &  Transportation; Randall Jackson, WCPS Director of Districtwide Student and Support Services; Jay Wilson, WCPS Energy Manager; Charles Rector, WCPS Director of Maintenance; Virginia Fox, Secretary of the Ky. Education Cabinet.