DMPS Earns ENERGY STAR Partner of the Year Award for Second Year in a Row

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has named Des Moines Public Schools as a 2013 ENERGY STAR Partner of the Year for strategically managing and improving the energy efficiency of its entire building portfolio, which totals more than 5.5 million square feet at over 60 facilities throughout the city.

Through its partnership with the ENERGY STAR program, Des Moines Public Schools has improved its energy performance, saved money and helped to protect the environment for future generations. Des Moines Public Schools is the largest provider of public education in Iowa, with more than 32,000 students and nearly 5,000 employees.

School Board vice chair Cindy Elsbernd accepts the Energy Star Partner of the Year award at a ceremony in Washington, DC.

This is the second year in a row Iowa’s largest school district has earned the EPA’s top award for ENERGY STAR partners. Des Moines Public Schools is also the only school district in the nation to be a repeat recipient of the award this year.

“Our commitment in Des Moines to managing our energy use in partnership with ENERGY STAR is continuing to pay big dividends for our schools and the entire community,” said Bill Good, chief operations officer for Des Moines Public Schools. “Energy efficiency is saving us millions of dollars each year, making more resources available for our real work: education. Des Moines Public Schools has great partners working with us in this effort, such as MidAmerican Energy, and are honored to be recognized for the second year in a row by EPA for our efforts.”

With a focus on ongoing performance measurement and whole-building improvement, EPA’s ENERGY STAR program provides a proven energy management strategy that has helped Des Moines Public Schools achieve important reductions in energy use and greenhouse gas emissions.

Key accomplishments by the school district’s award winning energy management program during 2012 include: 

  • Raising the district’s average ENERGY STAR score to 86, representing a seven-point improvement over 2011 and a 28-percent reduction in energy use.
  • Saving $2.4 million in avoided energy costs since the 2007–2008 fiscal year through operational changes and cost-effective upgrades, such as installing software that automatically turns off all of the district’s more than 15,000 computers.
  • Earning ENERGY STAR certification for 11 additional buildings in 2012, for a total of 53 certified buildings in the school district and earning recognition as an ENERGY STAR Top Performer. (In 2008, no DMPS school buildings were ENERGY STAR certified.)
  • Publishing a monthly Energy Report Card that provides education to staff, students, and the community about energy performance, conservation tips, classroom educational opportunities, and ENERGY STAR materials.
  • Educating students on the importance of energy conservation through the Iowa Energy and Sustainability Academy, a cutting-edge program focused on energy sustainability that is incorporated into the curriculum at all grade levels.
  • Continuing to renovate historic structures, each an average of 65 years old, into models of energy-efficient buildings through equipment upgrades, such as the installation of geothermal systems in 33 schools to date.

“Superior energy management is our most cost-effective climate strategy and Des Moines Public Schools continues to exemplify leadership in this category,” said Bob Perciasepe, Acting Administrator, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. “Des Moines Public Schools’ innovative practices provide a model for energy management in the places we work, shop, and play. These strategies help the bottom line and support the well-being of families across America by reducing pollution and protecting the environment.”

EPA’s annual ENERGY STAR Awards honor organizations that have made outstanding contributions to protecting the environment through superior energy efficiency. The award winners are selected from about 20,000 partners that participate in the ENERGY STAR program and will be recognized at an awards ceremony in Washington, D.C., on March 26, 2013. Over the past 20 years, American families and businesses have saved nearly $230 billion on utility bills and prevented more than 1.8 billion metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions.

ENERGY STAR was introduced by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in 1992 as a voluntary market-based partnership to reduce greenhouse gas emissions through increased energy efficiency. Now celebrating its 20th anniversary, ENERGY STAR offers businesses and consumers energy-efficient solutions to save energy, money and help protect the environment for future generations. About 20,000 organizations are ENERGY STAR partners committed to improving the energy efficiency of products, homes, buildings and businesses. For more information about ENERGY STAR, visit or call toll-free 1-888-STAR-YES (1-888-782-7937).