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Graves County Schools honored with ENERGY STAR awards; district praised for both savings and innovation

The Graves County Board of Education celebrated the district’s recent ENERGY STAR awards for Graves County High School and Wingo Elementary School at the May board meeting. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) prestigious ENERGY STAR is the national symbol for protecting the environment through superior energy efficiency. This signifies that the building performs in the top 25 percent of similar facilities nationwide for energy efficiency.

“This is a significant achievement for Graves County Schools,” said school district maintenance director John Oldham. “I’m very pleased and proud that our maintenance staff, with support from our schools, the board of education, and the finance and technology departments collaborated so well with Harshaw Trane in striving toward a common goal. Two of our schools have attained ENERGY STAR status in only one year. With that as inspiration, our team is working toward attaining ENERGY STAR status at other schools in our district soon.”

To earn ENERGY STAR awards, the district began a partnership with Louisville-based energy services company Harshaw Trane in 2015 to update facilities by taking the following actions:

High-efficiency LED lighting district-wide

Total HVAC system replacement at the high school

HVAC replacement at Wingo Elementary School (1980 section)

Address comfort concerns in the high school

Variable flow pumping conversions

Water conservation

Minimal disruption to school during construction period

Significant utility cost reduction

Commercial buildings that earn ENERGY STAR use an average of 35 percent less energy than typical buildings and release 35 percent less carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. Graves County Schools improved its energy performance by managing energy strategically across the entire district and by making cost-effective improvements to its buildings. In 2016 the district saved a total of $81,852 in energy costs and saw a 16 percent energy reduction overall. Since its baseline year, the district has saved 1,188,078 kWh in electric. These savings are equivalent to 245 passenger cars not driven for a year, 2,637 barrels of oil not burned, nine acres of forest saved, and 15 School busses taken off the road.

“The ENERGY STAR certification at these schools are validation that the Graves County school board made an environmentally and fiscally-sound decision to move forward with an energy savings project in 2015,” said Kyle Johnson, Harshaw Trane Education Sustainability Leader. “This project resulted in a better learning environment for the students and created a new revenue stream for the district with avoided energy costs generated from this project. Harshaw Trane looks forward to working with the district staff in the future to ensure their continued success.”

Harshaw Trane (www.harshawtrane.com) creates and sustains high-performing, efficient and secure facility environments. An intelligent building technology and energy services provider, the company employs 300 highly-trained associates including a Certified Energy Manager and LEED Accredited Professionals, is an ENERGY STAR Partner and is a founding member of the Kentucky Chapter of the U.S. Green Building Council. Harshaw Trane is headquartered in Louisville and has offices in Lexington and Bowling Green, Kentucky, and Evansville, Indiana.

(photo caption)

Harshaw Trane representative Kyle Johnson is pictured here, from far left, with Graves County Schools representatives Superintendent Kim Dublin, maintenance director John Oldham, and board members Kelly Whitaker, Julie Moffitt, Kevin Wiggins, Jim Wurth, and Ronnie Holmes.

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