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Thursday, April 16, 2015

Des Moines Public Schools Awarded for Energy Star Sustained Excellence in Energy Management and Climate Communication

EPA #News Release:

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region 7
11201 Renner Blvd., Lenexa, Kansas 66219

Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, and Nine Tribal Nations

Des Moines Public Schools Awarded for Energy Star Sustained Excellence in Energy Management and Climate Communication

Contact Information: David Bryan, 913-551-7433,

Environmental News


(Lenexa, Kan., April 7, 2015) – Des Moines Public Schools (DMPS) has been honored as an Energy Star® Partner of the Year for Sustained Excellence for its commitment to demonstrating environmental and financial stewardship through comprehensive energy management. The school district also received a second Energy Star award, for Climate Communication, for raising awareness of the impacts of climate change.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) are honoring 128 businesses and organizations in 33 states with the Energy Star’s Partner of the Year awards for their commitments to saving energy and protecting the environment through superior energy efficiency achievements.

DMPS key 2014 accomplishments in sustained energy excellence include:

  • Relighting 28 of the district’s more than 60 facilities resulting in an estimated annual savings in excess of $135,000.
  • Earning ENERGY STAR certification for 46 of the 61 DMPS buildings that are benchmarked in ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager®.
  • Switching to geothermal heating and cooling systems in 39 schools.

The second Energy Star award, for Energy Star Partner of the Year – Climate Communication, honors DMPS for raising awareness of the impacts of climate change. The district illustrated how energy-efficient behaviors have a positive impact on the environment while encouraging customers to save energy and protect the climate. Key 2014 accomplishments include:

  • Using its scale and reach as the fifth largest employer in Des Moines to influence the energy actions of citizens and other employers in the area.
  • Providing extensive Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) instruction that incorporates the impacts of climate change.
  • Developing a climate communication plan to inform internal and external audiences about energy strategies.
  • Using multiple methods to raise awareness about energy conservation, ENERGY STAR, and the Earth’s changing climate.
  • Working with local media outlets to reach the Des Moines media market of 420,000 people, including print and television media.
  • Writing and issuing press releases and blog posts about several energy efficiency and climate change connections, including topics such as the district’s three schools that were top finishers in the 2013 ENERGY STAR National Building Competition (announced in 2014).

“Our Energy Star Partner of the Year award winners demonstrate that energy efficiency is a smart business decision that supports their bottom line, and helps their customers save money and energy,” said EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy. “I congratulate our Energy Star Partners of the Year for their leadership and commitment to reducing greenhouse gas emissions and taking action that will help us leave a healthier planet for future generations.”  

The awards will be presented April 20 in Washington, D.C., at the Marriott Wardman Park Hotel. EPA Administrator McCarthy and Jim Gibbons, Goodwill Industries International President and CEO, will provide keynote remarks.  

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