FRANKFORT – Lt. Gov. Jerry Abramson joined state energy and education leaders this week to recognize 12 Kentucky schools for their efforts to lower energy costs by improving efficiencies in their buildings. Each school earned an “ENERGY STAR” designation, part of a federal program that identifies education institutions that are among the top 5 percent in the nation for energy efficiency.
The ENERGY STAR-designated schools recognized include:
· Overdale Elementary – Bullitt County school district
· Turkey Foot Middle – Kenton County school district
· James A Caywood Elementary – Kenton County school district
· Flaherty Primary – Meade County school district
· Foster Heights Elementary – Nelson County school district
· East Middle – Shelby County school district
· Milton Elementary – Trimble County school district
· Richardsville Elementary – Warren County school district
· Warren East Middle – Warren County school district
· Oakland Elementary – Warren County school district
· Plano Elementary – Warren County school district
· Cumberland Trace Elementary – Warren County school district
The newly announced 12 schools bring the number of Kentucky’s ENERGY STAR school buildings to 160. The number has more than doubled over the last two years.
The ENERGY STAR program is a key element of Gov. Steve Beshear’s comprehensive energy plan, according to a press release from the governor's office. To increase energy efficiency in Kentucky’s public schools, Beshear authorized $5.2 million in 2009 Recovery funds from the U.S. Department of Energy, knowing schools would be able to save money by saving energy.
This funding helped create the Kentucky School Energy Managers Project, a partnership between the Kentucky Energy and Environment Cabinet’s Department for Energy Development and Independence and the Kentucky School Boards Association.
Under this program, the Kentucky School Boards Association hired 35 school energy managers serving some 130 participating school districts, to bring increased energy efficiency management and sustainable programs to Kentucky’s schools.
“With assistance from the School Energy Managers Project, Kentucky school districts have avoided nearly $13 million in cumulative energy costs,” said Bill Scott, executive director of the Kentucky School Boards Association. “This money can be better spent in classrooms.”
In the United States, energy costs for public schools are in the billions – more than states spend on textbooks and computers combined, according to the Kentucky Department of Education.