The New England Community Energy Challenge assists communities with reducing energy use in schools, municipal buildings, and wastewater facilities. Sponsored by the EPA, the challenge calls for a 10% decrease in energy use. 36 schools have earned the ENERGY STAR label as a result of their efforts in Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Rhode Island.
Reducing energy costs can slash bills up to 30% for school districts, according to the EPA. Committing to sustainability not only has the benefit of saving money and reducing your environmental impact, but it also promotes a dynamic learning environment.
“Being the third largest department in the state, it’s important to set an example that no matter what the challenges, energy efficiency can be achieved. Earning the ENERGY STAR speaks volumes for what the program has accomplished,” said Richard Kalisz, Director of Maintenance, Rochester N.H. School Department.
Participants set their own deadline for reducing their energy baseline and have access to technical support throughout the process. The ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager tool and Building Upgrade Manual are a number of tools the EPA offers, as well as access to funding opportunities and professional services to complete the transition.
Schools have found success with upgrades, retrofits, and technology such as new boilers, windows, lighting, ventilation equipment, carbon dioxide fan controls, water conservation upgrades, and temperature controls. Others have installed computerized energy management, insulated and sealed air leaks, or hired an energy manager.
For more information about the challenge, click here.