Portage High earns top energy rating

2014-06-09T00:00:00Z Portage High earns top energy ratingJoyce Russell joyce.russell@nwi.com, (219) 762-1397, ext. 2222 nwitimes.com

PORTAGE | Portage High School recently received a top rating in energy efficiency, and school officials are looking to improve efficiency at other district buildings.

Lisa Strong, director of buildings and grounds, told the Portage Township School Board last week that the high school received an Energy Star rating of 99 and will apply for Energy Star Certification from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Department of Energy.

The district has had several projects over the years to improve the energy efficiency rating of the school that houses some 2,400 students.

Most recently, Energize Indiana paid a visit and conducted an audit, said Strong. They installed controllers on nine vending machines, put in 50 CFL lights in places that didn't already have them, and installed 23 light sensors in areas through out the school.

The estimated cost savings of those actions is $4,900 annually.

"We have a commitment to energy conservation; we are already doing a lot of things," said Strong.

Past projects have including putting mechanical timing devices on lights, installing low-flow sinks and toilets, and putting computerized controls on the heating and air conditioning systems.

Strong said the district will continue to implement proven practices and re-evaluate products to increase savings. She said the best way to continue savings is educating staff and students in the building.

"We want to roll this out to other schools," said Strong, adding they are hoping to have Energize Indiana conduct an audit at Willowcreek Middle School, which is the next largest building in the district.

The audit services are free.

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