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February 17, 2004 > FUSD wins national energy savings award

FUSD wins national energy savings award

by Gary Leatherman

The Environmental Protection Agency announced Monday (Feb. 2) that it has named the Fremont Unified School District as an ENERGY STAR Partner of the Year for its outstanding contribution to reducing greenhouse gas emissions through leadership in energy management.
FUSD was the only public school district in the United States to win the award. Since FUSD formally initiated its energy-management program in 1999, it has documented more than $4.5 million in cost-avoidance through energy conservation measures.

An EPA spokesman said seven other organizations won the in the Commercial and Industrial division of the program, placing FUSD in the distinguished company of 3M, Eastman Kodak, Transwestern Commercial Services and the University of Michigan. EPA announced a total of 50 winners in all categories from about 7,000 participants. The awards are to be presented at a ceremony March 2 in Washington, D.C.

A partner in the ENERGY STAR program since 2000, FUSD is being honored for adopting smart energy practices and investments throughout its operations, such as reducing the use of utilities by lowering building heat during non-instructional hours, carefully monitoring the use of lights and computers and other energy-consuming devices, installing skylights, eliminating non-essential appliances and lighting, developing central control systems for utility management, improving the efficiency of heating swimming pools and closing the district office during school vacation periods. The district has managed to reduce energy costs during a period in which it added more than 100,000 square feet of classroom space.

"Protecting the environment through sound energy management is a major organizational priority for us in the Fremont Unified School District," FUSD Energy Manager Paul Wagner said. "As an ENERGY STAR partner, we won't settle for anything less than superior energy performance in Fremont unified. The ENERGY STAR program is good for the environment and it saves us money that can be better used where it really counts: improving services to students in classrooms."

"As an ENERGY STAR partner The Fremont Unified School District has successfully integrated energy performance into their management strategy and day-to-day operations," said Kathleen Hogan, director of EPA's Climate Protection Partnerships Division. "By participating in ENERGY STAR these organizations are showing businesses and public institutions worldwide that protecting the environment is a sound investment."

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