Des Moines Public Schools Receives 2014 Energy Star Partner of the Year Honors

energystarthreepeatU.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) have selected the Des Moines Public Schools (DMPS) for the 2014 Energy Star Partner of the Year Award for Climate Communications and Partner of the Year for Sustained Excellence.  Fifty-three DMPS schools received an Energy Star rating. This is the third consecutive year the school district has received a partner award.

As one of the country’s 10 Climate Communications winners, Des Moines Public Schools has raised the awareness of students, teachers, families and the community to the impacts of climate change. DMPS has created communications that encourage their customers to combat climate change with the help of Energy Star and emphasize how energy-efficient behaviors have a positive effect on the environment.

The school district was also one of the 72 Sustained Excellence winners that continue to exhibit exceptional leadership year after year in the Energy Star program while remaining dedicated to environmental protection through superior energy efficiency.

“EPA applauds this year’s Energy Star Partner of the Year Award winners, who have demonstrated innovative strategies to help their customers, partners and stakeholders save energy and cut greenhouse gas emissions,” said EPA Deputy Administrator Bob Perciasepe. “Their commitment to saving energy helps fight climate change while also helping their bottom line.”

“Each year, Energy Star partners create jobs, protect the environment and raise the bar for the home improvement industry through their dedication to energy efficiency,” said Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy David Danielson. “This national program helps homeowners by providing access to innovative home improvement solutions and enabling American families to save money by saving energy.”

“It feels good,” James Wilkerson, facilities services director for DMPS said upon learning the district was being honored with a Partner of the Year award for the third straight year. “It represents years of hard work and dedication to the energy culture change within the district.”

Wilkerson said through projects large and small, better appliance choices and educating staff and students about energy conservation, DMPS has reduced its overall energy expenditures by $2.8 million over the last five years.

“We’re protecting the environment but at the end of day it’s also financial,” Wilkerson said. “Energy costs are general fund expenditures, so it comes out of the same money that buys textbooks and pays salaries. So we save money that can be used in other places in our budget.”

The winners were selected from 16,000 Energy Star partners, including manufacturers, retailers, public schools, hospitals, real estate companies, and home builders, for their dedication to protecting the environment through greater energy efficiency.

Products, homes and buildings that earn the Energy Star label prevent greenhouse gas emissions by meeting strict energy efficiency requirements set by the U.S. EPA. From the first Energy Star qualified computer in 1992, the Energy Star label can now be found on products in more than 70 different categories, with more than 4.5 billion sold.

Over 1.5 million new homes and 23,000 office buildings, schools and hospitals have earned the Energy Star label. Since the Energy Star program began, American families and businesses have saved $297 billion on utility bills and prevented more than 2.1 billion metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions with help from Energy Star.

Complete list of winners:

DMPS-TV Interview with DMPS Facilities Services Director