McCombs School 4th in Nation in EPA Building Contest

Des Moines Public Schools has been recognized as a state and national leader when it comes to energy efficiency. For example, DMPS has been the EPA’s Energy Star Partner of the Year in 2012 and 2013 and for the past two years has earned the U.S. Department of Education’s Green Ribbon School award.

The school district’s success in this area continues.

This year, DMPS is taking part in the Battle of the Buildings. The competition, sponsored by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, recognizes buildings for their efforts at saving energy, lowering costs and fighting climate change.

A total of 3,308 buildings across the nation are taking part in the competition, not only schools but also retail stores, office buildings, banks, government facilities, universities, and many more.

Participants in the contest measure, track, and report their monthly energy consumption using EPA’s online energy tracking tool, Portfolio Manager. Throughout the competition, participants will cut energy waste through energy-saving activities such as making improvements to the building, optimizing operations and maintenance, and engaging occupants to save.

Sixty-two DMPS buildings are taking part in the contest and, according to the results released at the mid-point of the contest, our schools are doing very well.

In fact, McCombs Middle School is ranked 4th overall in the contest!

“The recent renovation of McCombs is showing some really great savings,” said Bill Good, the district’s chief operations officer. “When you consider the additional eight classrooms we added as part of this work it is amazing that we were able to significantly reduce our utility costs while adding more classrooms. “

In addition to McCombs, 15 other DMPS buildings are among the top 10% of the contestants: Mitchell, Carver, Walker Street, Studebaker, Moulton, Roosevelt, Goodrell, Jackson, Howe, Brubaker, Walnut Street, Samuelson, King, South Union and Central Academy.

Overall, out of the 3,308 competitors, 4 DMPS buildings are in the top 100, 20 are in the top 500, 34 are in the top 1000, and 90% are within the top half of the competition.

For more information about the contest, visit the EPA’s Battle of the Buildings. For a copy of the current standings in the contest, click here.

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