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Blue Mountain School District recognized as Energy Star Leader - - Saving Energy and Reducing Greenhouse Gases

Release Date: 12/18/2008
Contact Information: Bonnie Smith, 215-814-5543, smith.bonnie@epa.gov

PHILADELPHIA (December 18, 2008) - - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has recognized the Blue Mountain School District in Orwigsburg, Schuylkill Co., Pa. as one of 14 new Energy Star Leaders nationwide.

As an Energy Star Leader, the district joins 64 other leaders from school districts, commercial real estate companies, healthcare systems, supermarket operators and hoteliers as an elite group recognized for energy efficiency milestones in the buildings they own and manage.

The Blue Mountain District educates 3,000 students. Its energy efficiency efforts began in 2005. Since then, the district has saved more than $950,000 in energy costs and has improved its energy efficiency by more than 30-percent district-wide. Plus, four of the five district's schools have earned the Energy Star for superior energy performance. The district's energy management efforts have reduced greenhouse gas equivalent of 847 vehicles.

The Blue Mountain staff, faculty, and students have implemented hundreds of improvements in energy consumption habits, including turning off lights and computers when not in use and shutting classroom doors. Electronic monitoring of all systems ensures optimal performance. The district's energy efficiency efforts have been led by the schools energy educators and managers. This district has also partnered with two energy consulting firms, Energy Education, Inc. and NRG Building Services, in its energy management program.

Energy Star Leaders all reach specific milestones include achieving portfolio-wide energy savings of at least 10, 20 or 30 percent. Energy Star Leaders are avoiding more the 580 million pounds of greenhouse gas emissions - - equal to those from the electricity use of nearly 35,000 U.S. homes - - and saving almost $50 million annually.

Energy Star was introduced by EPA in 1992 as a voluntary, market-based partnership to reduce greenhouse gas emissions through energy efficiency. To see a list of all the Energy Star Leaders, see: http://www.energystar.gov/ia/business/leaders/2008_Leaders_list.pdf