By ABBY SLANKER
Hilltop Elementary School has something big to celebrate. The school earned the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Energy Star certification, which signifies the building performs in the top 25 percent of similar facilities nationwide for energy efficiency and meets strict energy efficiency performance levels set by the EPA. Hilltop Elementary School is the first K-12 school building in Mahoning County to achieve Energy Star Certification.
An awards ceremony was hosted at the school on Oct. 23, during which several local dignitaries praised the school for this accomplishment.
Evana Louise Delon, energy manager for Canfield Local Schools, welcomed invited guests, speakers and attendees.
“Over a period of 24 months, Hilltop Elementary has saved $64,023. The changes the staff here at Hilltop implemented were behavior changes and how they do things in this building. When a class leaves their classroom, the lights are turned off. When a computer is not in use, it is turned off. By 4:30 p.m., this school is dark,” Delon said.
Delon introduced Canfield Mayor Bill Kay, who first bestowed upon her a citizen recognition pin for all her efforts, on behalf of the City of Canfield.
“The staff at Hilltop saw a need, set a goal and put in the time and energy to meet that goal. They did not join the ‘I’m gonna’ club. They did not end up falling short of their goal. They saw it through and succeeded. Congratulations for sticking to your goal. Well done,” said Kay.
Canfield Local Schools Superintendent Alex Geordan said Canfield Local Schools are pleased to accept the EPA Energy Star certification.
“On behalf of Canfield Local Schools, we are pleased to accept this certification. It is because of the commitment of Mrs. Delon, the Board of Education, the entire staff at Hilltop Elementary, led by Mrs. Mowry, and, of course, the kids. Without everyone’s efforts, this special recognition would not be possible,” Geordan said.
John Kwolek, EPA representative, presented the Energy Star certification to Hilltop Elementary School Principal Cathy Mowry.
“Hilltop Elementary School should be very proud of this accomplishment. They are using 35 percent less energy. I am very honored to present this award to everyone at Hilltop Elementary,” Kwolek said.
To earn the Energy Star certification, Hilltop Elementary took the following actions:
• Established an occupied time of day schedule for the HVAC system.
• Implemented ‘team cleaning’ approach for summer custodial activities.
• Started an employee awareness program.
• Activated the ‘power management’ feature on all computers and took advantage of computer sleep modes during occupied times.
• Implemented formal lighting policy than enabled lighting to be turned off during unoccupied times.
“This program is successful at Hilltop because of the custodial staff. They are phenomenal and do an awesome job. They took possession of the program and without them, this recognition would not have been possible,” Delon said.
Commercial buildings that earn EPA’s Energy Star certification use an average of 35 percent less energy than typical buildings and also release 35 percent less carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. The school district improved its energy performance by managing energy strategically across the entire organization.