In a positive step toward improving energy efficiency and fighting environmental pollution, the Carlisle County School District has taken the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) ENERGY STAR Challenge.
The ENERGY STAR Challenge, launched by EPA in March 2005, calls for an energy efficiency improvement of 10 percent or more for the more than 5 million commercial and industrial buildings in the United States. Energy is often generated by burning fossil fuels, which emits greenhouse gases that contribute to environmental pollution. Forty-five percent of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions are caused by buildings and industrial facilities. Making more efficient use of energy is the best starting point for reducing our carbon footprint and saving money.
“Many of us are taking steps to improve energy efficiency at home but may not realize that there are opportunities to save where we work, shop, play and learn, as well,” said Jim Crouse, School Energy Project Coordinator. “By making energy-efficient choices, we can reduce our energy use and save money while protecting the environment.
The potential savings are staggering. EPA estimates that if the energy efficiency of commercial and industrial buildings in the U.S. improved 10 percent, Americans would reduce greenhouse gas emissions equal to those from about 30 million vehicles while saving about $20 billion.*
Today, leading companies realize that energy efficiency is not only the first step to being green, but is also smart business. Energy efficiency improvements can yield a high return on investment and is necessary in order to remain competitive. Businesses, organizations, and governments that are leaders in energy efficiency use about 30 percent less energy than their competitors.
The Challenge is a win-win for us and other school districts looking to save energy and reduce operational costs,” continued Crouse. “Through ENERGY STAR, EPA provides the tools and resources to help us strategically manage our energy use.”
ENERGY STAR was introduced by EPA in 1992 as a voluntary, market-based partnership to reduce greenhouse gas emissions through energy efficiency. Today, the ENERGY STAR label can be found on more that 60 different kinds of products, new homes, and commercial and industrial buildings. Products and buildings that have earned the ENERGY STAR designation prevent greenhouse gas emissions by meeting strict energy-efficiency specifications set by the government. Last year alone Americans, with the hekp of ENERGY STAR, saved about $19 billion on their energy bills while reducing the greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to those of 29 million vehicles.