DOWNEY - The Downey Unified School District notched another feather in its cap when it was named an Energy Star Leader by the federal government's Energy Star program.This means, according to a press release issued by DUSD, that the district has "demonstrated environmental leadership by achieving a portfolio average energy performance score of 99 for the year 2011," the federal citation read. Addressed to superintendent Wendy Doty, it was signed by EPA's Energy Star director Jean Lupinacci. The certificate of recognition said the district was being cited as one of the most energy-efficient school districts in the country for accomplishing either energy efficiency improvements district-wide or placing in the top 25 percent of school districts for energy conservation savings. Formally recognized at last week's DUSD meeting for their leadership efforts on behalf of the district in achieving the prestigious certificate were director of maintenance, operations, and transportation services Buck Weinfurter, and construction and facilities manager Calvin Davis. They were presented by assistant superintendent for business services Kevin Condon. "We are extremely pleased to receive this recognition from Energy Star," said Doty. "Our energy conservation efforts are saving taxpayer dollars while also helping protect our local environment. Since our district began partnering with the conservation experts at Dallas-based Energy Education on a serious energy conservation program starting in 2001, we have saved more than $10 million, representing a savings of more than 35 percent on our energy and utility costs." She continued: "The environmental impact is equal to taking more than 300 cars off the street or planting over 500,000 trees in our community." The cost of utilities has historically been the second largest budget line item incurred by the district, it was pointed out, even as the prices for electricity, natural gas, and water have been steadily increasing. This was the main motivation for partnering with Energy Education, the press release said. "Each of us can make a difference though energy conservation, because people use energy, school buildings don't," said Doty. "Students, teachers and staff are part of a daily effort to improve the environment and save money district-wide. 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 recognition."
********** Published: August 04, 2011 - Volume 10 - Issue 16