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EPA Unveils Plaques Giving Warwick, New York Schools Energy-Efficient Seal of Approval

Release Date: 01/26/2006
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(#06007) NEW YORK -- Officials from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)presented public school officials with three plaques today to commemorate the designation of Warwick's Park Avenue Elementary, Kings Elementary and Warwick Valley High School as ENERGY STAR compliant. The ENERGY STAR mark of excellence certifies that the schools scored 75 or higher when benchmarked against similar buildings in climate adjusted areas. Throughout the nation, building owners and designers submit annual data to EPA and the U.S. Department of Energy on the amount of energy saved by using energy efficient designs. The top 25% of these buildings are chosen to receive an ENERGY STAR designation.

"ENERGY STAR labeled schools provide a better learning environment, reduce energy consumption and save tax dollars by being cost effective," said EPA Regional Administrator Alan J. Steinberg. "We commend the Warwick Valley Central school district for setting a high standard in superior energy management."

EPA Chief of Staff Anthony Cancro joined Superintendent Dr. Joseph L. Natale in the presentation ceremony. Receiving the special ENERGY STAR designation requires an owner or manager to rate their building's energy performance against actual energy consumption using a simple Internet-based tool. Buildings nationwide can be compared equally based on energy performance, business activity, and geographic location. Buildings are ranked on a uniform scale of zero to 100; buildings with ratings of 75 or higher earn the right to be called "ENERGY STAR Buildings".

Often, building owners and managers do not have a clear picture of how much energy their buildings consume. Currently, the nation's 17,000 K-12 schools spend $1.3 billion on heating bills during the winter months - a cost that may rise by nearly 40 percent this year. This increase alone is equivalent to more than 10,000 teacher salaries. However, school districts can save up to 30 percent on their energy bills each year while preventing greenhouse gas emissions and improving learning environments through cost-effective efficiency improvements.

The annual energy bill to run America's primary and secondary schools is a staggering $6 billion more than is spent on textbooks and computers combined. The least efficient schools use three times more energy than the best energy performers; and top performing ENERGY STAR labeled schools cost $0.40 per square foot less to operate than the average performers. Operating under an energy performance contact, the contractor performed lighting retrofits, installed new windows and window film, made adjustments to pool equipment and took other measures in the Warwick school district to maximize the operating and energy efficiency of all three buildings.

The ENERGY STAR label encompasses much more than buildings. Products in more than 40 categories are eligible for the ENERGY STAR. There are ENERGY STAR light bulbs (they last 6 to 10 times longer than standard light bulbs), ENERGY STAR appliances (they use 10-50% less energy and water than standard models), ENERGY STAR Homes (they use 15-30% less energy and water than standard models) and even ENERGY STAR Home Contractors (they are trained to conduct a whole-house retrofit enabling consumers to reduce their total energy costs by 30 percent or more). The ENERGY STAR label allows consumers to easily identify energy-efficient appliances, electronics, office equipment, lighting, heating and cooling equipment, buildings and homes.

For more information on the EPA's ENERGY STAR program, visit: or call 1-888-STAR-YES. For educational ideas and activities, visit: