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Broken Arrow Public Schools earns prestigious ENERGY STAR certification

22 school buildings rated among most efficient in the nation

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The Environmental Protection Agency recently awarded 22 Broken Arrow Public Schools buildings with the prestigious ENERGY STAR certification, designating them among the top 25 percent of energy-efficient buildings nationwide.

“This is a great honor for our district as we continue to look for ways to maximize the impact our taxpayer dollars have on our students,” Superintendent Dr. Janet Dunlop said. “Each dollar saved on utility costs is one more we can put toward our classrooms.”

All BAPS school sites except for one earned the ENERGY STAR certification. Early Childhood Centers are not eligible, and Timber Ridge (opened August 2017) will be eligible for consideration next year. More than half of Broken Arrow schools scored above a 95 percent, with six schools sharing the honor of “most-efficient” with a score of 98 percent.

The district spent nearly $2 million on electricity and natural gas during the 2017-18 school year.

“Like any organization with a large number of buildings, we realize how utility costs can significantly affect the overall budget,” Chief Operating Officer Michelle Bergwall said. “That is why we use multiple strategies to proactively manage our energy expenses.”

BAPS entered into a partnership with Cenergistic, a leading energy conservation company, to start an energy savings program in 2017. In the first 17 months of the partnership, the district achieved a cost savings of more than $779,000 and saved the energy equivalent of removing 1,261 cars from the road for a year.

In addition to success with Cenergistic, BAPS recently installed 444 tons of energy-efficient HVAC cooling throughout the district, which saved nearly 80,000 kilowatt-hours and earned rebates totaling $69,400. Also, various energy-efficient lighting projects saved an additional 80,000 kWh and earned the district an additional $9,179.68 rebate.

BAPS personnel have worked closely with Cenergistic engineers, experts and embedded energy specialist Jadon Dykes to audit and optimize each energy-using system throughout the district. Mr. Dykes tracks energy consumption — including electricity, water, sewer, natural gas and fuel oil — using the latest in energy-accounting software and technology to calculate savings and identify and correct areas that need immediate attention.