In a positive step toward improving energy efficiency and protecting the environment, Rush County Schools has taken the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) ENERGY STAR Challenge.
The ENERGY STAR Challenge calls for an energy efficiency improvement of at least 10 percent 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 climate change, and commercial buildings and industrial facilities are responsible for forty-five percent of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions. Using energy more efficiently will help reduce the country’s carbon footprint and save 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, play, and learn as well,” said Dr. John E. Williams, RCS superintendent. “By making energy-efficient choices, we can reduce our energy use and save money while protecting the environment.”
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 on annual utility bills.
“The ENERGY STAR Challenge is an excellent opportunity for us and for other organizations looking to save energy and improve the bottom line,” continued Williams. “EPA’s ENERGY STAR program provides the tools and resources to help identify areas for improving energy efficiency by managing energy strategically.”
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 than 60 different kinds of products as well as new homes and commercial and industrial buildings that meet strict energy-efficiency specifications set by the EPA. Over the past twenty years, American families and businesses have saved a total of nearly $230 billion on utility bills and prevented more than 1.7 billion metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions with help from ENERGY STAR.