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Going green saves taxpayers’ green

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Primary school earns Energy Star rating

Owen County Primary School has been recognized by the Kentucky Energy and Environment Cabinet for earning the prestigious Energy Star, a national symbol for protecting the environment through superior energy performance.  A certificate signed by Gov. Steve Beshear was presented to the school’s principal during a ceremony that included representatives from the Kentucky School Boards Association, teachers, students, and district leaders.
Throughout the past two years, the school has undergone renovations to improve efficiency. These renovations include lighting upgrades, occupancy sensors in rooms, and high efficiency water heaters and boilers. Student energy teams also played an integral part in the school’s energy efficiency and sustainability programs.
“Owen Primary is an excellent example of what can be done with a proactive building manager and teachers who engage students in energy conservation,” Owen Primary School Principal Sharen Hubbard said. “Our building manager Billy Bramblett has been instrumental in this school earning the Energy Star label and getting this building in top shape, and our gifted and talented coordinator Teena Gamble has been an example of leadership for our student energy teams and other school personnel.”
According to Jon Nipple, school energy manager, the 21-year-old primary school building went from an EPA Energy Star rating two years ago in the low 30’s to today’s score of 78. In two years, the school has reduced its energy consumption by more than 210,000 kilowatt hours, or 26 percent, and saved the district more than $11,700 during a time when the cost of electricity increased 11 percent.
“Owen County Primary School has earned this recognition from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency because of a terrific team effort that includes our board of education, staff with our maintenance department along with our school-based staff and students,” Owen County Interim Superintendent Sonny Fentress said. “The more we reduce our energy costs, the more that’s available for district instruction to students. It’s this kind of teamwork that improves education opportunities for all Owen County students.”