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Nebo School District recognized for energy-efficient buildings

By Lana Hiskey

For the Deseret News

Published: Tuesday, June 24 2014 10:30 a.m. MDT

East Meadows Elementary in Spanish Fork was one of the schools earning ENERGY STAR certification.

Lana Hiskey, Nebo School District

The EPA’s ENERGY STAR certification, which recognizes schools for energy-efficient buildings, was recently awarded to 39 buildings in the Nebo School District, the most of any school district in the state of Utah.

To earn the ENERGY STAR certification, buildings must rate in the top 25 percent nationwide for energy efficiency, and Nebo averaged in the top 10 percent. School District Superintendent Rick Nielsen said they have put a lot of effort toward conserving energy, and are pleased with the outcomes.

“Our energy conservation efforts are saving taxpayer dollars while also helping protect our local environment," Nielsen said.

The cost of utilities is the second largest budget line-item for the Nebo School District, and the prices for electricity, natural gas and water have been steadily increasing. To combat these rising energy and utility costs, the Nebo School District entered into a partnership with Cenergistic to implement a behavior-driven energy conservation program throughout its buildings and campuses. Since the program was first implemented, Nebo School District has seen a tremendous reduction in energy use.

"Since we began partnering with Cenergistic on a serious energy conservation program, we have reduced our electrical consumption by 9,431,505 kWh," Nielsen said. "The environmental impact is equal to taking 2,091 cars off the street, or planting 257,409 trees in our community.”

Park Elementary principal Ryan Kay said the school's students, staff and faculty are all devoted to the energy conservation program. Individually, they each help to make a difference.

“We are part of a daily effort to improve the environment and save money organization-wide," Kay said. "There are dozens and dozens of changes, large and small, that we have implemented that are saving energy without affecting our comfort or educational goals. We have all gained a real sense of accomplishment from this ENERGY STAR recognition. Our students are learning, too, what it means to preserve precious natural resources.”

Nebo School District buildings that earned the ENERGY STAR certification include:

Art City Elementary, Barnett Elementary, Brockbank Elementary, Brookside Elementary, Canyon Elementary, Cherry Creek Elementary, Diamond Fork Junior High, East Meadows Elementary, Foothills Elementary, Hobble Creek Elementary, Landmark Cornerstone High, Larsen Elementary, Maple Mountain High, Mapleton Elementary, Mapleton Junior High, Mt. Loafer Elementary, Mt. Nebo Junior High, Orchard Hill Elementary, Park Elementary, Park View Elementary, Payson High, Payson Junior High, Rees Elementary, Riverview Elementary, Sage Creek Elementary, Salem Elementary, Salem Hills High, Salem Junior High, Santaquin Elementary, Sierra Bonita Elementary, Spanish Fork High, Spanish Fork Junior High, Spanish Oaks Elementary, Spring Lake Elementary, Springville High, Springville Junior High, Taylor Elementary, Westside Elementary and Wilson Elementary.

Lana Hiskey is communications and community relations specialist for the Nebo School District

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