CHARLESTON, W.Va. – Six additional West Virginia schools – all in Wyoming County – have earned the prestigious Energy Star label from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for efforts to create some of the most energy efficient buildings in the nation.
Berlin McKinney Elementary; Herndon K-8; Mullens Middle School; Pineville Middle School; Westside High School; and Wyoming East High School are among just 3,200 buildings across the country to earn the label. They were honored by the West Virginia Board of Education on Wednesday for energy-saving efforts that have saved the county more than $1 million over the last three years.
“These schools are using 21st century technology to monitor school temperature and control heating and cooling to not only cut energy costs but to reduce emissions,” said state Superintendent Steve Paine. “By taking steps to earn this label, Wyoming County has taken an important step along the path to energy efficiency. The county is not only saving money, but it also is protecting the environment. They serve as an example to other West Virginia schools as well as schools across the country.”
The six schools join just two others in West Virginia with the Energy Star honor. Those are Monongah Elementary in Marion County and Elkview Middle School in Kanawha County.
Federal officials estimate that the nation's 17,000 K-12 schools spend about $1.3 billion on heating bills during the winter months – a cost that is estimated to rise by as much as 40 percent this year, which would pay the salaries of about 10,000 teachers. Meanwhile, Energy Star schools cost about 40 cents per square foot less to operate than the average facility.
Organizations earn the Energy Star by using the EPA's national energy performance rating system to generate energy-efficiency ratings, on a scale of 1 to 100 relative to similar buildings across the country. The rating system is available for office buildings, schools, dormitories, hotels, hospitals, and grocery stores, among other commercial buildings.
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