Kroger Supports Local High School Competing in EPA National Building Competion

On May 2nd 2011,  Coal Ridge High School, Garfield Re2 School District, officially launched into the EPA 2nd Annual National Building Competition with full support from our entire district. Inspired by the Carbondale Middle School students and the performance of Crystal River Elementary School, Coal Ridge decided to use its position in the National Competition to demonstrate to their entire community that everyone has the power to save energy.

Together, the district’s Green Team and Coal Ridge’s student leadership class designed and implemented an initiative called Operation Shutdown. This ignited energy conservation throughout their business community in support of Coal Ridge winning the 2012 NBC contest. This local Kroger grocery store was proud to engage with the students to reduce energy waste where ever possible.







Highland Elementary Students Creating Energy Awareness

The Empowered Team at Highland Elementary is working to help teachers save energy in their building!  Students are typing up letters to teachers asking them to help conserve energy and listing ways they can do so.  The list includes ideas such as turning off the lights when they leave the room and on sunny days, unplugging unnecessary electronics and using a power strip as a central unplugging point.  Students will ask the teachers to first circle which ideas they can do and then sign and date the bottom of the letter as a pledge to take those actions.  Good work, Highland!  Your efforts are appreciated!


National Building Competition

Coal Ridge High School Participates in the EPA's National Building Competition

Over the loud speakers, the countdown began.

Several Coal Ridge High School students donned in self-painted camouflage t-shirts and deemed the Green Ninjas raced through the halls to see who could get to the light switch first.

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And just as swiftly, they were lunging for the plug connected to the printer in the counselor’s office.

Three, two, one! Operation Shutdown has commenced.
The building was dimly lit. Classroom lights were out, un-necessary appliances were unplugged, and students calmly made their way to the Coal Ridge gymnasium. From 10 to 11 a.m., the building was operating on minimal power with telephones, essential electrical devices and life-safety systems still completely operational. While in the gym, students were told that Coal Ridge High School was one of just 245 contestants nation-wide in the Environmental Protection Agency’s Energy Star National Building Competition: Battle of the Buildings.

The goal of the nationwide competition, billed as a “Biggest Loser-type” contest for buildings, is to help improve the energy efficiency of commercial buildings and protect the environment.

"Coal Ridge is honored to be a part of EPA’s ENERGY STAR National Building Competition,” said Dave Morgan, Principal "We are committed to improving our energy efficiency, and we look forward to seeing how we measure up against other buildings across the nation.”

The 2011 ENERGY STAR National Building Competition includes 245 teams from 26 different types of commercial buildings - such as retail stores, schools, hotels, and museums - that hail from 33 states and the District of Columbia.

Coal Ridge High School is already well on their way to saving hundreds of thousands of kilowatts. The hour of minimal energy use resulted in a 60 percent decrease in energy consumption, dropping the school’s Kw consumption from about 205 Kw to just 75Kw.

“This was amazing,” said energy club sponsor and science teacher Diana Buirgy. “The kids are really into helping Coal Ridge High School win this competition. They are now asking why teachers have their lights on when they are teaching, and if things that are plugged in really need to be plugged in.”

To try to reduce the amount of energy used at Coal Ridge High School, Garfield Re-2 and CRHS have already:
• Installed interval data reporting meters to monitor building energy use on a daily basis;
• Performed an energy audit of the building’s mechanical systems;
• Retrofitted the lighting in the commons to more energy efficient fixtures;
• Begun an awareness campaign encouraging energy conservation among staff and students;
• Evaluated and modified the building controls and air handlers;
• Evaluated and modified boiler system and equipment;
• Scheduled a retrofitting of gymnasium lights to high efficiency fixtures and bulbs for this summer;
• Scheduled installation of classroom occupancy sensors to reduce energy consumption for summer;

Garfield Re-2 and Coal Ridge High School are now in the midst of Operation Shutdown, a multi-phased plan to improve the energy efficiency of not only Coal Ridge, but the district and the community as well.

Be looking for the “Green Ninjas” of Coal Ridge, and students from energy clubs at other Garfield Re-2 schools to talk about ways the community can get involved in Operation Shutdown.

Facilities Department


Successful energy programs recognize that the Facilities Department is at the heart of the Energy Team. Whether it's managing equipment operation, team cleaning or shutting off lights, these folks at Garfield Re-2 work hand in hand with building occupants to get things done!

KSE Energy Stars

KSE Integrates Science with Energy Conservation

A few months ago, Kathryn Senor Elementary student Sydney Stanley didn’t know the difference between kinetic and potential energy. By being involved in KSE’s Energy Stars club, Sydney and a handful of her classmates have opened their eyes to what energy is, and how they can help their school conserve it.

Stanley says that the energy club is both fun and rewarding.

The KSE Energy Stars gave a presentation to the Garfield Re-2 School Board in March 2011.

“We get to have fun and learn at the same time,” she explained. “And we can help our school save money by thinking of energy saving ideas.”

Kathryn Senor Elementary is one of four pilot schools in the Garfield Re-2 School District that are working with New Energy Technology, or NET, to reduce their energy consumption. Rifle High School, Wamsley Elementary and Coal Ridge High School are also participating. NET helps public and private institutions not only find physical and mechanical areas for energy savings, but they help create a culture of energy consciousness. The partnership with NET was made possible through a Garfield New Energy Communities grant that was awarded in April, 2010.

The partnership has led to an increased awareness of energy consumption around the district by all staff. In addition to the development of energy clubs around the district, interval data meters were installed at the pilot schools and Brown and other staff members can see exactly how much energy the building uses on a daily basis – information that can’t be garnered by looking at month old energy bills.

“I can see the energy use daily,” said KSE day custodian Susan Brown. “I had no idea how we were using energy”

Brown has made changes to her daily routine like consciously keeping lights off until the last minute.

“I can open doors and begin the day by using the security lighting,” she explained. “We’re saving money. It’s amazing how much money we can save by changing a few things.”


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Garfield Re-2 also began an energy incentive program this year to give back some of the energy savings to the buildings if they reach specific levels of energy reduction. So far, the two initiatives combined, have helped Garfield Re-2 save 767,525 KwH or an overall reduction of 19% district-wide and an overall reduction of 56,046 Therms of natural gas or 29% district-wide. The reduction in consumption means that overall, Garfield Re-2 has saved or avoided over $200,000 in energy costs during the first two quarters.

“Budget cuts are forcing us to look at everything, including energy use in all of our buildings,” said Director of Facilities, Craig Jay. “However, we also want to be better custodians of our buildings and the environment. We are committed to trying to reduce our carbon footprint, reduce our energy use, and change the district culture regarding how people think about and use energy. Our initial results show that it saves the district money as well.”

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