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Ashkar Elementary honored by EPA for its superior energy efficiency

Release Date: 12/03/2009
Contact Information: Bonnie Smith,(215) 814-5543, smith.bonnie@epa.gov

HUGHESVILLE, Pa. (Dec. 3, 2009) - Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency presented Joseph C. Ashkar Elementary School here with an ENERGY STAR label for being among the top 25-percent energy efficient school buildings nationwide.

"By partnering with EPA, school districts are realizing that they can reduce energy costs by nearly 40 percent while protecting the environment,” said Judith M. Katz, EPA’s mid-Atlantic region’s air protection division director. “ EPA is pleased to recognize the Ashkar Elementary School and East Lycoming School District for their commitment to environmental leadership through superior energy performance.”

The Ashkar Elementary School is one of only 11 K-12 schools in Pennsylvania to earn the ENERGY STAR label in 2009.

“The East Lycoming School District is proud to accept ENERGY STAR’s award as the first commercial/institutional rated building in Lycoming County,” said Dr. Susan L. Bigger, Superintendent of Schools, East Lycoming School District. “At East Lycoming, we believe there is an obligation to be future-minded and fiscally prudent. Although Ashkar Elementary is 30+ years it is a brilliant example of how an old building can be retrofitted to achieve energy efficiency that rivals new buildings of today.”

Dave Maciejewski, East Lycoming’s business manager led the district’s efforts to create affordable and educational energy solutions. The district found ways to renovate buildings to increase energy efficiency, reduce overall operation costs, use alternative energy sources, and make them ‘greener.’

ENERGY STAR labeled buildings meet specific energy performance and indoor air quality requirements certified by a professional engineer. ENERGY STAR labeled buildings typically use nearly 40 percent less energy than average buildings without any compromise in comfort. They also emit 35 percent less carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, offering a significantly smaller carbon footprint.

The annual energy bill to run America’s primary and secondary schools is $6 billion. Energy costs are typically a school district’s second largest operating expense, after salaries -- more than the cost of computers and textbooks combined. In a typical school, one-third of the energy used is inadvertently wasted, largely due to old and poorly functioning equipment, poor insulation, and outdated technology.

Schools that are well lit, well ventilated, and in good repair improve energy efficiency and student performance.

Ashkar Elementary joins a growing list of school buildings that have earned the ENERGY STAR label in Pennsylvania.

To learn more about all aspects of the ENERGY STAR schools program see: http://www.energystar.gov/index.cfm?c=k12_schools.bus_schoolsk12 or search for ‘ENERGY STAR schools.

To find a map of schools, buildings, and industrial facilities in your area see: http://www.energystar.gov/LabeledList.