By Tenna Pershing
Westfield Washington Schools’ Shamrock Springs Elementary and Washington Woods Elementary successfully crossed the finish line in the Environmental Protection Agency’s 2012 ENERGY STAR National Building Competition: Battle of the Buildings.
Shamrock Springs Elementary is recognized fourth overall among all 3,000 competitors nationally for its 42.1-percent energy use reduction.
Washington Woods Elementary, with a 21.1-percent reduction, is recognized for achieving an energy use reduction of 20 percent or greater.
Westfield High School was 0.1 percent away from recognition with 19.9 percent, followed by Carey Ridge Elementary with 18.4 percent.
“Being recognized by the EPA for our focus on reducing energy costs and lessening the environmental footprint of the district’s 12 buildings is rewarding,” said Nick Verhoff, executive director of business and operations. “Our staff’s commitment has resulted in WWS saving over $800,000 that has been diverted to better serve students in the classroom. The entire staff deserves to be recognized for their efforts to improve the energy efficiency of our buildings across the district.”
Shamrock Springs and Washington Woods were the only Indiana schools recognized in the competition. The winner of the competition was Demarest Elementary School in Bloomfield, N.J., which reduced its energy use by more than 52 percent.
In its third year, the competition featured teams from across the country racing to improve energy efficiency, lower utility costs and protect health and the environment. Together, competitors cut their energy costs by more than $50 million.
From improvements in operations and maintenance to upgrades in equipment and technology, the competitors together saved more than 3 billion kBtus of energy and more than $50 million on utility bills annually. The competitors also prevented greenhouse gas emissions equal to the electricity used by more than 43,000 homes per year.