New Berlin - All four New Berlin elementary schools have earned the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Energy Star certification, meaning that they are performing in the top 25 percent of similar buildings nationwide for energy efficiency.
Nationally, commercial buildings that earn EPA's Energy Star certification use an average of 35 percent less energy than typical buildings and also release 35 percent less carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.
The Energy Star schools - Ronald Reagan, Poplar Creek, Orchard Lane and Elmwood elementary - also meet strict energy efficiency performance levels set by the EPA.
"Through this achievement, we have demonstrated our commitment to environmental stewardship while also lowering our energy costs," said Superintendent Joe Garza.
Overall, the New Berlin elementary and secondary schools have saved more than $3 million since the district started an energy management program in 2005, said Roger Bortmann, the district's energy specialist.
"All staff members deserve credit for helping us to achieve our energy goals," Bortmann said.
Employees are asked to follow conservation guidelines, turn their thermostats down at the end of the day, close doors and windows to conserve cool or warm air, report faulty equipment and help out in other ways. Monthly compliance walk-throughs began in fall 2006.
The schools follow program guidelines for daily operation of heating and cooling systems and made cost-effective improvements to buildings.
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