Sept. 20, 2016 Highlands Elementary School has received Energy Star certification from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The award recognizes the building’s performance in the top 25 percent of similar facilities nationwide for energy efficiency, averaging 35 percent less energy used and 35 percent less carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere. Highlands is the third elementary school in the district to receive and Energy Star rating, along with Concord and Creek Valley.
Highlands met the EPA’s Energy Star criteria following the completion of mechanical improvements in 2015, among which was the conversion from the original pneumatic controls to direct digital controls. This allows for better temperature regulation, resulting in energy savings. Likewise, lighting fixtures were upgraded, with light sensors and time-of-day controls added. This summer’s roofing project further improves energy efficiency in the building. These improvements help create a comfortable learning and teaching environment for Highlands students and staff, and also create cost efficiencies for the district.
EPA’s Energy Star performance scale helps organizations assess how efficiently their buildings use energy relative to similar buildings nationwide. A building that scores a 75 or higher on a scale of 1 to 100 may be eligible for Energy Star certification. The EPS introduced Energy Star in 1992 as a voluntary, market-based partnership to reduce greenhouse gas emissions through energy efficiency. Over the past 20 years, American families and businesses have saved more than $230 billion on utility bills and prevented more than 1.8 billion metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions with help from Energy Star.