In concern for the environment and for world energy consumption, Americans are being urged to become more energy efficient. The Rowan County School District is no different. Both Tilden Hogge Elementary School and Rowan County Senior High School have been certified as ENERGY STAR facilities, recognizing them for their wise conservation of energy.
The Rowan County School District views energy efficiency as an important opportunity to teach students about environmental stewardship as well as a way to reduce operating costs. As a result, the District strives to conserve energy to maximize the funds available for instructional programs and support services. Participation in the ENERGY STAR program has provided the district with many valuable resources and ideas that have enabled the Rowan County School District to meet many of its energy goals.
KRS 160.325, which was passed by the Kentucky General Assembly in 2008, requires school districts to address the problem of rising energy costs within the districts and develop energy management plans. Six school districts -- Rowan, Mason, Fleming, Bath, Menifee, and Robertson Counties – joined together to form an energy consortium and hire an energy manager that works with the districts to develop energy management plans and charts the possible savings obtained by following the plans. Terry Anderson serves as the Energy Manager for the six-district energy consortium that includes Rowan County.
A joint program of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Department of Energy, “Energy Star” assists Americans to make more fiscally responsible energy decisions as well as protect the environment through energy efficient products and practices. A facility that qualifies for the “Energy Star” rating must meet strict energy performance standards set by EPA. “Energy Star” facilities use less energy, are less expensive to operate, and cause fewer greenhouse gas emissions.
As of 2012, the Rowan County School District has achieved a reduction in energy use of more than 10 percent compared to its baseline consumption in eight facilities. Some of proactive measures the district has taken to become energy efficient have been replacing an ineffective heating and cooling system at the high school, upgrading the lighting systems at several schools, and learning how to be more energy wise. The District has also integrated the HVAC controls at Rowan County Senior High School, Rowan County Middle School, and two elementary schools.
The District has reduced its overall energy consumption in the eight buildings by over 15% and eliminated emissions of over 870 metric tons of CO2. On a cost basis, this represents a savings of approximately $105,000 per year for the District.
“According to the numbers, Rowan County Senior High School and Tilden Hogge Elementary School show a 23% and 30% difference in energy savings, respectively, than other facilities their size across the nation,” said Terry Anderson, energy manager for the Rowan County School District and the five districts in the consortium. “The Rowan County School District’s success in improving energy efficiency began with a commitment by Supt. Marvin Moore, the Rowan County School Board, and district administrators.”
“Green is not just a color in this district. With the country becoming more energy-conscious, Viking Green now has much more meaning,” said Superintendent Marvin Moore. “Besides saving money, the Rowan County School District is setting an example by becoming more energy-efficient and going ‘green,’ – Viking Green.”