Energy efficiency goes a long way. Just ask Virginia Beach City Public Schools

(Southside Daily)

VIRGINIA BEACH — The Virginia Beach City Public Schools has been named an ENERGY STAR Partner of the Year by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for the second consecutive year.

Only 163 honorees were selected across the nation from among Fortune 500 companies, schools, hospitals, retailers, manufacturers, home builders and commercial building owners and operators, according to a news release.

ENERGY STAR is a voluntary program of the EPA that rates buildings for its energy efficiency on a 100-point scale against similar buildings nationwide — with a score of 50 being the median and a 75 ranking as a top performer.

Since joining the program in 2011, VBCPS has increased its average building score from 38 to 77 and increased the number of ENERGY STAR-certified buildings from six to 46, the most by a single owner in Hampton Roads, a news release indicated. As a result, the school division has reduced its energy use by 27 percent even while increasing its building space by 9 percent.

In terms of financial savings, the school division’s utility bills would have been $5 million more each year without these energy efficiencies.

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