Sacred Heart Academy has earned the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) ENERGY STAR® certification for superior energy performance, becoming the first and only high school in Louisville to achieve this prestigious status.
Jean Lupinacci, Chief of the ENERGY STAR Commercial & Industrial Branch, said “from the boiler room to the board room, organizations are leading the way by making their buildings more efficient and earning EPA’s ENERGY STAR certification.” Sacred Heart Schools chief engineer, Kevin Sauer credits investments in building automation and energy management systems for a 20% campus-wide energy reduction; an outward symbol of Sacred Heart’s continued commitment to sustainability.
ENERGY STAR certified buildings and plants are verified to perform in the top 25% of buildings nationwide, based on weather-normalized source energy use that considers occupancy, hours of operation, and other key metrics. ENERGY STAR is the only energy efficiency certification in the United States that is based on actual, verified energy performance.
“We’re honored to earn the ENERGY STAR for superior energy performance at SHA and appreciate the efforts of everyone who has been involved in its efficient operation,” said Dr. Karen McNay, president, Sacred Heart Schools. “As Catholic schools, saving energy is just one of the ways we show our community we care, and that we’re committed to doing our part to protect the environment and public health, both today and for future generations.”
On average, ENERGY STAR certified buildings and plants use 35% less energy, cause 35% fewer greenhouse gas emissions, and are less expensive to operate than their peers—all without sacrifices in performance or comfort.
In using 35% less energy, SHA enjoys savings in operations and maintenance costs, reduced reliability risks, lower emissions and improved student, faculty and staff health and overall experience, and an increased real property value. Total utility savings at SHA from January 2019 to present is over $245,000 – equal to a reduction of 736 metric tons of carbon dioxide.
Representatives from SHA’s Trane Technologies team, including alumna Christy McGuire Fetsch ‘02 were onsite at Sacred Heart Academy to present school leadership with a plaque signifying the Energy Star certification in February. Fetsch, who credits former SHA math teacher Mr. Reid with helping her excel, had this to say: “As an energy consultant, it is fulfilling to help clients reach sustainability goals and reduce the energy intensity of the world. It’s even more exciting when the client is your alma mater! Partnering with Sacred Heart Schools, I’ve seen firsthand the dedication of the Facilities Team and the thought leadership of past and present leadership to create healthy, efficient learning environments. As an SHA alum, I was elated to present the Academy with the prestigious ENERGY STAR® recognition!”
Director of Facilities, David Noltemeyer, Chief Engineer, Kevin Sauer, President, Dr. Karen McNay and Interim Principal, Amy Nall accepted the plaque on behalf of Sacred Heart Academy.
In addition to ENERGY STAR certification, Sacred Heart Academy was named as the K-12 Louisville Energy Alliance Kilowatt Crackdown Award Winner for the 2019/2020 season. This award recognizes building owners, operators, and leadership who have exemplified dedication to reducing energy usage within their facility. SHA has made huge strides in reducing its energy usage and carbon footprint.
Recognition from the United States E.P.A., the Louisville Energy Alliance and the Louisville Partnership for a Green City is a great reflection of how Sacred Heart Schools’ energy efficiency and sustainability efforts directly align with Pope Frances’ plea for Christians to make decisions based on positive environmental impact and carbon reduction in his Encyclical Letter, LAUDATO SI’. With sustainability included in the strategic plan for the next five years, this honor is only the beginning!