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Spokane East Valley Schools Earn EPA ENERGY STARŪ Award

Release Date: 9/23/2003
Contact Information: Robert Fallis
(206) 553-8293

September 23, 2003

District efforts save $30,000 in utility costs, commits to similar investments at other schools.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has awarded Spokane’s East Valley School District’s East Farms Elementary and Skyview Elementary Schools the agency’s prestigious ENERGY STARŪ Award for their efforts to make their buildings more energy efficient – and environmentally friendly. They are the first schools in eastern Washington and only the second district’s schools from EPA Region 10 (Alaska, Idaho, Oregon, and Washington) to earn these awards that the EPA gives to only the most energy efficient buildings in the United States.

The two schools use about 40% less energy than the average school building and thus cost about 40% (or $30,000) less to heat, cool, and light than average school buildings. In their efforts to reduce and optimize their energy use the district joined the EPA’s ENERGY STARŪ Partners program for K-12 school buildings earlier this year. This program is directed to assisting organizations and consumers with optimizing their energy use. In turn, this cuts the amount of unnecessary energy generation-related pollution that goes into the environment.

As ENERGY STARŪ Partners the district elected to use the EPA’s integrated approach for reducing energy costs by systematically upgrading the energy efficiency at all of their schools. This is being carried out through the use of a series of tools that are provided by the EPA.

Therefore, under the direction of Dr. Deborah Howard, Assistant Superintendent for Support Services for the East Valley School District Exit EPAall of the district’s school buildings were evaluated for energy consumption, climate, square footage building use, and occupant comfort and indoor air quality, potential concerns in efficient buildings.

In doing this they compared their finding to the criteria in the EPA’s ENERGY STARŪ Buildings program. They found that the two schools currently receiving the awards compared favorably to the top 25 percent most efficient buildings in the country. Next, with the assistance of Dan Robison, P.E. of EPA’s Washington State Operations office, they determined that these buildings also met the ENERGY STARŪ Buildings other comfort and indoor air quality requirements.

“We are excited to provide this award to the East Valley School District,” said John Iani, EPA’s Regional Administrator in Seattle. “The district should be proud that two of its schools are the two first ENERGY STARŪ Award recipients in the Pacific Northwest.

“Also, as an ENERGY STARŪ Star Partner, the district is committing itself to similar improvements in energy efficiency at its other facilities, with even greater cost savings, and further protection of the environment.”

To date, over 1,000 of the nation's most energy efficient buildings have earned EPA's ENERGY STARŪ designation for superior energy performance. Buildings receiving these awards use about 40 percent less energy than average buildings, without compromising comfort, indoor air quality, or services.

In 2002 alone, ENERGY STARŪ qualifying buildings spent $130 million less in energy bills and reduced carbon dioxide by 2.6 billion pounds compared to average buildings. Among the top performing buildings are 337 public schools; 339 properties owned by commercial real estate organizations and leased to commercial tenants; 240 owned-and-occupied by corporations, including offices, hotels and supermarkets; and 161 owned by federal, state or local governments.

School Contact: Dr. Deborah Howard , East Valley School District 509/924-1830