D211 Post: District 211 Schools Earn Energy Star Certification

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For the second consecutive year, all five District 211 schools have received the Environmental Protection Agency’s Energy Star Certification.  The announcement was made during District 211’s Board of Education meeting Oct. 19.

            During the announcement, District 211 Superintendent Dr. Dan Cates said, “These awards are an acknowledgement of our staff’s commitment and dedication to the continuous improvement in energy efficiency.”

            The five district schools were among only 14 throughout Illinois to receive the efficiency status.

            Nick Jahnke, District 211 Facilities Engineer, said half of the energy usage within the district is from building mechanics and lighting.  He said with the implementation of LED lights in the buildings, the district has been able to lower energy usage.

            The energy efficiency has had a financial benefit for the district as well.  It is estimated that in the past 13 years, District 211 has saved nearly $16 million in energy costs.  Dr. Cates said the savings have been reinvested into the education of students throughout the district.

            Jahnke said the biggest step in energy conservation in the schools is knowledge.

            “Simply understanding what each building can do and having the knowledge to implement those steps goes a long way,” he said.

            He said energy conservation is a team effort involving everyone in the school from the administration to the mechanical staff.  He said the advice he had for helping everyone contribute to energy conservation is to turn off unused equipment.

            “If you’re not using it, turn it off,” Jahnke said.  “This goes for everything from large equipment to laptops.”

            He said the fact all the schools have received this recognition twice says something about the district.

            “It speaks volumes to the board of education and the administration in how important they believe energy conservation is,” he said.