By Lisa Clifton
A whopping 92 K-12 schools across eight school districts in Arizona were awarded ENERGY STAR certifications for their endeavors in being highly productive and energy efficient. Three of the greenest school districts will be recognized at the Heavy Medals Banquet hosted by the United States Green Building Council’s (USGBC) Arizona Chapter on February 24, 2016.
Cartwright School District (Phoenix), Marana Unified School District (Marana) and Washington Elementary School District (Glendale) comprised 54 of the 92 Arizona schools that were awarded the ENERGY STAR label in 2015 and each will receive the ENERGY STAR K-12 District Award for their amazing efforts. The other ENERGY STAR labeled school districts in 2015 were Florence Unified School District (Florence), Dysart Unified School District (Surprise), Kyrene School District (Phoenix), Humboldt Unified School District (Prescott Valley) and Glendale Elementary School District (Glendale).
ENERGY STAR is a program created by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in 1992 that promotes energy-efficient technologies and practices and provides information to businesses on how to save money by implementing these innovations and rewards them for doing so.
The EPA rates buildings on a scale of one to 100, with 50 indicating average energy performance. To be eligible for an ENERGY STAR label, a building must score a rating of 75 or better. In all, Arizona boasts the 11th highest rated city in the country in terms of ENERGY STAR certifications with 165 awarded buildings in Phoenix.
Schools such as these being recognized are able to function at a very high level while reducing their greenhouse gas emissions and freeing dollars for use in the classroom because they cost less to operate. This positively affects not only the students and faculty of these schools, but entire communities as well.
The 2016 Heavy Medals Banquet will be held at the City of Phoenix Civic Plaza from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.