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Two Connecticut Schools Recognized by EPA for Green Power Purchases

Release Date: 10/29/2009
Contact Information: David Deegan, (617) 918-1017

(Boston, Mass. – Oct. 29, 2009) – Two schools in Connecticut are among the nation’s 10 top performers when it comes to buying green power. Greenwich Academy in Greenwich and Hotchkiss School in Lakeville were both recognized this week as part of EPA’s Green Power Partnership.

For the first time, EPA’s Green Power Partnership released a list of the largest green power purchasers among primary and secondary schools. The Green Power Partnership’s top 20 K-12 schools are buying nearly 113 million kilowatt-hours (kWh) of green power a year, equivalent to the carbon dioxide emissions (CO2) that would be produced from the electricity use of more than 11,000 average American homes.

“These schools should be proud of their accomplishments and we are proud to have them as partners,” said Ira Leighton, action regional administrator for EPA’s New England office. “As educational institutions, they have shown that they care about the environment at the same time they are teaching students about environmental responsibility and setting a standard for the rest of us to follow."

Greenwich Academy, an independent college-preparatory day school, uses energy generated from an onsite photovoltaic system and has purchased renewable energy credits to ensure that almost all of its power is coming from green and renewable sources. Greenwich Academy, which buys 2.3 million kwh a year of green power, has made this commitment as it has focused on its carbon footprint. Efforts to reduce the academy's impact include both use reduction and source emissions. At the school, 87 percent of energy comes from green power.

“This is a huge honor, and we are proud to be recognized by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency,” said Head of School Molly H. King. “Purchasing green power helps our school become more sustainable, while also sending a message that supporting clean sources of electricity is a sound business decision and an important choice in reducing climate risk. It also models for all our students a clear commitment to sustainability and awareness of progressive solutions to global challenges.”

The Hotchkiss School, an independent boarding secondary school, buys about 2 million kwhs or 22 percent of its electricity through green power, all of which comes from wind power. In addition, the school recently competed in the Green Cup Challenge, an annual competition among independent schools with a goal of reducing energy consumption on campus.

“We are pleased to have received this recognition,” said Joshua Hahn, assistant head of the school and director of environmental initiatives. “Purchasing green power is an important component of helping Hotchkiss to become more sustainable, but it is just one part of our energy management strategies. We also work to curtail our energy through efficient technology and behavioral changes, attempt to use renewable energy resources when possible, and offset our carbon footprint in ways that are intentionally connected to our curriculum and to the lives of Hotchkiss students.”

Hotchkiss is also involved in community initiatives such as a student garden and farm and tray-less dining, and Hotchkiss has incorporated green design into its physical architecture. Its music center, several dormitories and another building all have achieved LEED certification.

Schools recognized for their green power purchases are (in order of purchase size):
1. Austin Independent School District (Austin, Texas)
2. Round Rock Independent School District (Round Rock, Texas)
3. Rochester City School District (Rochester, N.Y.)
4. Bullis School (Potomac, Md.)
5. The Dalton School (New York, N.Y.)
6. Greenwich Academy (Greenwich, Conn.)
7. Norwood School (Bethesda, Md.)
8. Hotchkiss School (Lakeville, Conn.)
9. Spirit Lake Community Schools (Spirit Lake, Iowa)
10. Kent Place School (Summit, N.J.)

EPA’s Green Power Partnership works with more than 1,100 partner organizations to voluntarily purchase green power to reduce the environmental impacts of conventional electricity use. Overall, EPA Green Power Partners are buying more than 17 billion kWh of green power annually, equivalent to the CO2 emissions from electricity use of nearly 1.7 million American homes.

Green power is generated from renewable resources such as solar, wind, geothermal, biomass, biogas, and low-impact hydropower. Green power electricity generates less pollution than conventional power and produces no net increase in greenhouse gas emissions.

EPA is also updating its other top partner lists, including its National Top 50 Purchasers list. Intel Corporation, PepsiCo, Kohl’s Department Stores, Whole Foods Market, and Dell Inc. continue to rank in the top five overall of green power purchasers.

More information:

The
“top 20” list of k-12 schools: (www.epa.gov/greenpower/toplists/top20k-12schools.htm)

Information on EPA’s
Green Power Partnership: (www.epa.gov/greenpower)

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