Thirteen Henderson County School Buildings Earn ENERGY STAR Label

SEM's building performance team helps the school district improve efficiency, air quality, comfort and lighting.
Dec. 13, 2011 - PRLog -- HENDERSONVILLE, NC - A North Carolina school district is getting high marks in energy efficiency this semester. Thirteen buildings from Henderson County Public Schools have earned ENERGY STAR labels this fall, after a thorough review from Morrisville-based Southern Energy Management (SEM). Included in the project are a dozen elementary, middle and high schools, along with the district's Information Technology Center.

"This is an intentional move for our school district," said Bill Parker, Assistant Superintendent for Administrative Services. "Maintaining energy efficient facilities is part of our school district's Strategic Plan. We have two LEED-certified schools and saw the opportunity to pursue the ENERGY STAR label with our other facilities as a natural next step."

According to the Environmental Protection Agency, Henderson County Public Schools ( was one of only seven North Carolina school districts that had buildings earn ENERGY STAR labels in 2011. School district Energy Manager Dave Lyons helped prepare the buildings for the ENERGY STAR process, performing internal audits that led to lighting retrofits prior to SEM's review. He also helped get individual principals involved in reducing their school's energy usage.

The verification process from SEM ( involved a review of buildings' energy usage, after which the results were put through the EPA's Portfolio Manager, producing a Statement of Energy Performance. One of SEM's Professional Engineers gave each building a final inspection to make sure it conformed to the EPA's strict guidelines.

"Working with Henderson County Schools was a treat. We're not just teaching students the importance of sustainability, we're showing them how to achieve it," said SEM building science engineer Meghan McDermott. "Each of these buildings now meets high standards for efficiency, air quality, comfort and lighting. It's something the students should be proud of."

The ENERGY STAR program for buildings and plants differs from the more commonly recognized version for residential homes. The main distinction is that this type of verification involves existing buildings, rather than new construction.

Southern Energy Management conducted this work on behalf of Advanced Energy, a non-profit located in Raleigh, N.C. that focuses on energy efficiency solutions. Advanced Energy has worked with more than 40 school systems across the state of N.C. to benchmark energy performance, identify energy saving measures and promote energy awareness through programs such as the EPA ENERGY STAR program. This project is sponsored by Duke Energy, Progress Energy, North Carolina Electric Membership Co-Op, and Dominion NC Power and the electric ratepayers of North Carolina. For more information about Advanced Energy's services for commercial and industrial customers, visit

Tricia Allen, Henderson County Public Schools: or 828-697-4512
Chris Cowperthwaite, SEM: or 919-836-0300 ext. 129

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Southern Energy Management is a North Carolina-based sustainable energy company offering energy efficiency, green building and turn-key solar services for homeowners, builders, companies, government and military clients across the country. A certified B Corp, SEM's mission is to have a measurable impact on reducing greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to climate change, and to build a sustainable triple-bottom-line company. SEM was founded in a living room in Raleigh in 2001, and now employs a team of more than 100 sustainable energy professionals. SEM is consistently recognized as an industry leader both locally and nationally, and is among a small handful of companies in the U.S. to earn the National Energy Star Partner of the Year award five times (in 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010 & 2011). SEM also received the City of Raleigh 2011 Environmental Stewardship Award and the 2010 Green Jobs Award from SJF Institute & Green For All. For more information, visit
Source:Chris Cowperthwaite -
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Tags:Energy Star, Energy Efficiency, School Buildings, Southern Energy Management, Epa
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