William Fremd and James B. Conant high schools were two of 15 schools in Illinois to earn an Energy Star Award from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Energy Star Award in spring, but now the district is receiving another distinction for its energy conservation efforts.
The EPA and the U.S. Department of Energy have recognized District 211 as an Energy Star Leader and a Top Performer, nationally.
The district had an aggregate energy performance rating score of 75 or higher on all eligible buildings that were considered for Leader status. Additionally, there was a 30 percent improvement of energy efficiency compared to data first collected in 2004.
District 211 is now listed on Energy Star's website as one of 248 Energy Star Leaders nationwide, and was designated a Top Performer and a 30 Percent Achiever.
"To think that our schools are one of 248 organizations encompassing both public and private buildings is a huge accomplishment," said Reece Thome, energy manager at D211. "There have to be hundreds of thousands of eligible entities nationwide that fit the criteria to apply. To receive the Leader recognition puts Township High School District 211 in very elite company."
The Energy Star Award rates all types of commercial and institutional buildings. Since the district's baseline was established in 2004, it has saved more than $8 million in utility costs.
Those savings have come from retrofitting and replacing inefficient equipment, modifying temperature set points, maximizing efficiencies in energy management systems, and emphasizing staff and student involvement to conserve energy.
As the district covers 2.2 million square feet, and has more than 12,500 students and 1,900 employees, it has encouraged conservation habits that are not only good for the environment, but also cost-effective for District 211. Currently, the District prevents emissions of more than 5,700 metric tons of carbon dioxide annually.
"The award represents diligence on the part of every staff member, and most notably, our maintenance departments deserve a great deal of credit for all they do to make certain everything runs smoothly and efficiently," Thome said."These awards would not be possible without everyone's continuing awareness and cooperation."