EPA Honors DMPS as Energy Star Partner for 5th Year

DMPS earns award for 5th consecutive year for protecting environment, lowering costs through superior energy efficiency


The reputation of Des Moines Public Schools as one of the nation’s leading school districts when it comes to energy efficiency and conservation continues to grow.

Today the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recognized DMPS with its 2016 ENERGY STAR Partner of the Year – Sustained Excellence Award for its continued leadership in protecting our environment through superior energy efficiency achievements. Additionally, EPA recognized DMPS with a 2016 ENERGY STAR Climate Communicator Award for its outstanding efforts to elevate the issue of climate change. The school district’s accomplishments will be recognized in Washington, D.C. on April 13, 2016.

This is the fifth consecutive year the school district has received a partner award, and the third straight year it has earned a partner award in two categories.

As a Sustained Excellence honoree, DMPS is being recognized for continuing to exhibit exceptional leadership year after year in the ENERGY STAR program while remaining dedicated to environmental protection through superior energy efficiency.

In addition, as one of the Climate Communications winners, DMPS is raising awareness of students, teachers, families and the community to the impacts of climate change and energy efficiency. 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 effort we put into energy efficiency is literally paying dividends for both our students and the environment,” said Bill Good, chief operations officers for Des Moines Public Schools. “Each year hundreds of thousands of dollars are being directed towards education rather than energy costs, funds that support our top priority: teaching the children of Des Moines.”

DMPS has taken several steps to become the nation’s leading school district when it comes to energy efficiency and sustainability.

For example, even though the district’s school buildings average 65 years of age, thanks to the Students First school renovation program – funded by the statewide penny sales tax – DMPS has successfully turned historic structures into efficient energy models. As a result, DMPS has avoided more than $2 million in energy costs since 2008, permitting much-needed funds to be redirected to educational programming.

In addition, in 2008 zero DMPS buildings were ENERGY STAR certified; in 2015 49 facilities were certified, representing 69% of all district buildings. The percent of air-conditioned classrooms has also increased from 74% in 2008 to over 99% in 2015, while at the same time significantly reducing energy consumption.

The district’s focus on energy efficiency is reflected in an overall emphasis on better stewardship. For example, the district recently finished installing the 41st geothermal system. Taking advantage of the earth’s stable subsurface temperatures, the District’s geothermal systems allow DMPS to condition building spaces in a renewable, environmentally sensitive and cost effective manner in almost three million square feet of classroom and office space.

“By continued collaboration with ENERGY STAR, Des Moines Public Schools is helping Americans save money, save energy, and do their part to reduce our nation’s greenhouse gas emissions that exacerbate climate change,” said EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy. “I’m proud to recognize Des Moines Public Schools with the highest form of ENERGY STAR recognition, as the winner of the 2016 Partner of the Year – Sustained Excellence Award. DMPS demonstrates a strong commitment to energy efficiency and to preserving a healthy planet for future generations.”

The 2016 Sustained Excellence Awards are given to a variety of organizations to recognize their contributions to reducing harmful carbon pollution through superior energy efficiency efforts. These awards recognize ongoing leadership across the ENERGY STAR program, including energy-efficient products, services, new homes, and buildings in the commercial, industrial, and public sectors.

For a complete list of 2016 winners and more information about the program, visit the ENERGY STAR web site.