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APS Touts Energy Conservation Efforts
Albuquerque Public Schools observes Energy Efficiency Awareness Week, Jan. 13-17, by highlighting its many successful conservation efforts.
Albuquerque Public Schools is observing Energy Efficiency Awareness Week, Jan. 13-17, by highlighting its longstanding commitment to energy conservation. Here are a few examples of our commitment to active energy conservation:
- For 15 years, APS schools have participated in a voluntary education program called STARS (Schools Teaching about Resource Sustainability) that promotes energy education and behavioral modification among students and staff. Schools earned money through applying energy saving habits like turning off lights and turning down heating and cooling. The district has saved more than $5 million in energy costs since the program began.
- The APS electrical department is in the process of retrofitting schools and other buildings with low energy, high performance lighting and other electrical systems. Thirty one APS schools have been completely retrofitted to date, resulting in energy and cost savings of 12-32 percent per school.
- The APS mechanical department is installing new energy efficient heating and cooling systems that are cutting down on use and costs.
- APS has received Energy Star® certification for 84 of its schools and is working toward all schools being Energy Star® certified by 2015. Energy Star is a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency voluntary program designed to save money and protect the environment through improved energy efficiency.
- Two APS elementary schools, Georgia O’Keeffe and Coronado, are being considered as U.S. Department of Education’s Green Ribbon Schools. The program recognizes and honors schools and districts that are exemplary in reducing environment impact and costs and improving the health and wellness of students and staff.
- The latest edition of the Council of the Great City Schools’ Managing Results in America’s Great City Schools ranked APS in the top third of large urban school districts for utility costs per square foot that measures electric, heating and water.
- APS introduced energy-saving solar photovoltaic (PV) panels on the new Community Stadium and plans to include them on a building at Wilson Middle School as well. The rooftop solar panels convert energy from sunlight directly into electricity.
- All new APS buildings are required to be designed and built to at least a LEED Silver certification; some have exceeded expectations, earning Gold. Thus far, APS has garnered 35 LEED certifications for its schools and facilities.
- APS is partnering with Waste Management on a single-stream recycling program that accepts glass, metal, aluminum, plastic, paper, and paper cardboard (such as dairy and juice containers commonly disposed of at schools). The single-stream system means there’s no need for sorting or separating. Recycling programs are also active in the district’s administrative buildings, including City Centre, which recycled 7.63 tons of office paper and 1.3 tons of cardboard in the 2012-13 fiscal year.
- APS recently teamed with utility and community leaders in devising an enriched APS energy conservation program. An 18-member Water & Energy Conservation Committee is looking at districtwide programs that will conserve energy at three levels: 1) design and construction 2) recurring maintenance and 3) the operational habits and culture of the end user.