Valley Center School Earns EPA's Energy Star Certification

Thursday, April 2 2015 1:41 PM


Wheatland Elementary School of USD 262

Valley Center Earns EPA’s ENERGY STAR® Certification for Superior Energy Efficiency

March 10, 2015 - Wheatland Elementary School owned/managed by USD 262, has earned the U.S.Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) ENERGY STAR certification, which signifies that 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. 

"USD 262 is pleased to accept EPA’s ENERGY STAR certification in recognition of our energy efficiency efforts,” said Mike Bonner, Assistant Superintendent. "Through this achievement, we have demonstrated our commitment to environmental stewardship while also lowering our energy costs. The District will continue to seek out improvements to improve the energy efficiency in all of our buildings, however, funds are limited. ”

Commercial buildings that earn EPA’s ENERGY STAR certification use an average of 35percent less energy than typical buildings and also release 35 percent less carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. USD 262 improved its energy performance by managing energy strategically across the entire organization and by making cost-effective improvements to its building(s). USD 262 has prevented greenhouse gas emissions equal to the electricity use from 32 households for a year.

“Improving the energy efficiency of our nation’s buildings is critical to protecting our environment, “ said Jean Lupinacci, Chief of the ENERGY STAR Commercial & Industrial Branch. “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.”

To earn the ENERGY STAR, USD 262 took the following actions:

• In early 2014 engaged Energy Star Partner and Energy Consultant firm of Knipp Equipment, Inc. to review energy usage of all schools and make recommendations for improvement.

• Wheatland Elementary began as the District's worst performing school in energy used and dollars per square foot spent on energy.

• In summer 2014 Knipp Equipment, Inc. replaced the majority of the roof mounted air conditioning and heating units with new, higher efficiency units. They also installed a new Trane Building Automation System allowing the district online access to control of the new heating and air system for scheduling and operation. Finally, the company replaced a majority of the building's older, inefficient lighting with new, higher efficiency lighting.

• In tandem with the District's maintenance personnel Knipp Equipment, Inc. continues to monitor the building's energy usage and performance making corrections as needed to maximize the building's overall efficiency.

• The District has seen an almost 40% reduction in energy costs for Wheatland since the completion of the Energy Improvement Project.

"As a local resident and taxpayer in Valley Center this project was very rewarding. Being able to take a building that was one of the lowest performers in the District and enact improvements that not only increased energy efficiency, saving both the District and taxpayers money, but to improve it to the level that allowed it to be recognized as an Energy Star Certified building is amazing.", said Sean Miller, PE, Director of Energy Services at Knipp Equipment, Inc." A big thanks goes out to the District administration and Board of Education who realized the impact that spending some funds to improve energy efficiency would have. Not only are they saving energy and money but new lighting, air conditioning and controls helps to increase the quality of the environment for our students and our teachers to learn and work in for 8 hours a day."

EPA’s ENERGY STAR energy performance scale helps organizations assess how efficiently their buildings use energy relative to similar buildings nationwide. A building that scores a 75 or higher on EPA’s 1-100 scale may be eligible for ENERGY STAR certification. Commercial buildings that can earn the ENERGY STAR include offices, bank branches, data centers, financial centers, retail stores, courthouses, hospitals, hotels, K-12 schools, medical offices, supermarkets, dormitories, houses of worship, and warehouses.

ENERGY STAR was introduced by EPA in 1992 as a voluntary, market-based partnership to reduce greenhouse gas emissions through energy efficiency. Today, the ENERGY STAR label can be found on more than 65 different kinds of products, 1.4 million new homes, and 20,000 commercial buildings and industrial plants that meet strict energy-efficiency specifications set by the EPA. Over the past twenty years, American families and businesses have saved more than $230 billion on utility bills and prevented more than 1.8 billion metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions with help from ENERGY STAR.

For more information about ENERGY STAR Certification for Commercial Buildings:

For more information about energy services offered by Knipp Equipment Inc. please visit or contact Sean Miller, PE at


Previous: Knipp Equipment named Best Places to Work finalist for second straight year Next: 2014 Controls Growth Award