Overdale latest school to earn Energy Star status

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 There are now a total of eight Bullitt County Public Schools with Energy Star status.

District Energy Manager Andrea Rock presented the latest Energy Star award to Overdale Elementary School during the August 2011 meeting of the Bullitt County Board of Education.

Energy Star is a joint program of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Department of Energy that promotes cost savings through the use of energy-saving products and practices.

“Overdale has received the highest Energy Star rating of the 8 schools with a 97 out of 100,” Rock reported. “The cost of utilities (gas and electric) is only $0.82 per square foot; the lowest of all other schools in the county.”

Superintendent Keith Davis is delighted that money saved by energy awareness can be invested in curriculum

“Every dollar we do not have to use for utility bills can be used to help enhance student learning,” he said.

A brand new, state of the art, energy efficient facility for Overdale students and staff opened in August 2009 replacing an aging facility.

“Some of Overdale’s energy efficient features include insulated concrete form (ICF) construction, geothermal heating and cooling with web-based controls, distributed pumping for the heat pump units and T-8 lighting with an advanced lighting control system,” she added. “The school staff also tries to use energy wisely and is cooperative with the energy conservation measures that are in place at the school, such as setting temperatures back at the end of the day. “

Four Bullitt County Public Schools were awarded Energy Star status in 2009. They are Freedom and Shepherdsville Elementary Schools and Eastside and Zoneton Middle Schools.

In addition to Roby, the two schools earning Energy Star status in 2010 were Maryville Elementary School and Bullitt Lick Middle School.

Rock said other schools will be given more attention to energy efficiency.“We will continue to do what we can to ensure that all of our buildings are operated as efficiently as possible and hopefully even improve on the current Energy Star ratings.”

Bullitt County Public Schools has seen a substantial savings since joining the Kentucky Energy Efficient Program (KEEPS) program as a pilot venture in 2006.

“Cost avoidance is over $800,000,” Rock noted. “These savings are through our involvement in KEEPS along with the upgrades made through the ongoing energy savings performance contract.”

KEEPS uses a systematic approach to help Kentucky school districts reduce energy consumption and lower operating expenses. The program is administered by Kentucky Pollution Prevention Center at the University of Louisville J.B. Speed School of Engineering.Kentucky NEED is the state affiliate of the National Energy Education Development Project.The mission of NEED is to promote an energy conscious and educated society by creating networks of students, educators, and business, government and community leaders to design and deliver objective, multi-sided energy education programs.

The NEED Project conducts conferences, workshops and professional development for programs for K-12 educators and students. These programs provide comprehensive energy education and introduce educators to NEED materials and other resources.