Five elementary schools in the Charlottesville (Va.) district have earned Energy Star designation from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
Staff from the school district and the city's public works department have collaborated to make school facilities more energy efficient. They have installed more efficient lighting, upgraded heating and cooling systems, installed low-flow and automatic flush valves, and monitored utility usage.
Commercial buildings that earn the Energy Star use an average of 40 percent less energy than typical buildings and also release 35 percent less carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. The system, which requires a rating of 75 or above, compares a building's energy consumption with similar buildings nationwide.