EPA Names Des Moines Public Schools 2012 ENERGY STAR® Partner of the Year

DMPS Honored for Protecting Environment with Superior Energy Efficiency

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has named Des Moines Public Schools as a 2012 ENERGY STAR Partner of the Year for strategically managing and improving the energy efficiency of its entire building portfolio. 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.

“The school district’s commitment to manage our energy use in partnership with ENERGY STAR has paid big dividends for our schools and the entire community,” said Bill Good, chief operations officer for Des Moines Public Schools. “Making our buildings more energy efficient has saved us millions of dollars in resources at a critical time for education. We are fortunate to have many partners working with us in this effort, including MidAmerican Energy, and are honored to be recognized 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.

Forty-three public schools in Des Moines are currently ENERGY STAR-rated, with four additional schools being added to the list this spring.

“As we celebrate the 20th anniversary of the ENERGY STAR program, EPA is proud to recognize Des Moines Public Schools with the 2012 ENERGY STAR Partner of the Year Award,” said EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson. “The Des Moines school district and all our ENERGY STAR award winners are improving the energy efficiency of the places where we work, play and learn, which is good for our climate, the health of our economy, and our future.”

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

Management Practices
Des Moines Public Schools uses the following energy management strategies and tools for efficient energy consumption:

  • Bi-weekly meetings to plan and execute reduced energy consumption and improvements
  • Use of ENERGY STAR portfolio manager to benchmark consumption and implement superior energy management tools
  • Utilization of building automation for accurate energy control and scheduling

Organization Improvements
To ensure effective consumption, Des Moines Public Schools provides the following energy performance improvements:

  • Install geothermal systems at 27 schools, with four more schools being added this summer as a part of renovation work
  • Replace T12 lighting with high efficient T8 and T5 lighting
  • Employ daylight harvesting techniques
  • Integrate LED site lighting and motion-sensor lighting
  • Replace inefficient windows and doors with more efficient substitutes

Impact and Achievements
Through hard work, Des Moines Public Schools energy consumption management tools and strategies have achieved the following successes:

  • $1.7 million have been saved since the launch of the ENERGY STAR initiative in Des Moines Public Schools three years ago
  • 70% of the districts ENERGY STAR buildings have a rating of 90 and above
  • Between fiscal year 2007-08 and fiscal year 2009-10, Des Moines Public Schools reduced energy use by 60,913 mBtu, preventing the emission of almost 5,700 metric tons of carbon dioxide, or the equivalent to the annual greenhouse gas emissions from more than 1,100 passenger vehicles
  • Established the Iowa Energy and Sustainability Academy, a college level instruction and work learning program about alternative energy and environmental science

“We congratulate Des Moines Public Schools on this outstanding achievement,” said Diane Munns, vice president of regulatory relations and energy efficiency, MidAmerican Energy Company. “By utilizing several energy efficiency programs through MidAmerican Energy, the school district has been able to reduce its energy use and save money over time. Their energy-saving efforts are serving as a national model for other school districts to follow.”

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 15, 2012. Over the past 20 years, American families and businesses have saved nearly $230 billion on utility bills and prevented greenhouse gas emissions equal to those from more than 350 million vehicles with help from ENERGY STAR.

The video below from the DMPS-TV YouTube channel is an interview with Bill Good, chief operations officer for Des Moines Public Schools, and Dianne Munns, vice president for regulatory relations & energy efficiency at MidAmerican Energy, talking about the significance of the award and what was done to earn this national recognition: