Six Huntley Community School District 158 buildings recently received ENERGY STAR certification from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) ENERGY STAR® program. The designation certifies that the buildings are among the top 25% of school buildings nationwide for energy efficiency.

Chesak Elementary School, Heineman Middle School, Huntley High School, Leggee Elementary School, Marlowe Middle School, and Martin Elementary School received the designation in 2017. The District Administration and Transportation Center received the designation in 2015. Seven Huntley 158 buildings are now among 156 K-12 school facilities to have received the designation, out of approximately 3,800 schools in the state. They are the only such designated school facilities in McHenry County.

Huntley 158 has invested in a number of energy-efficiency projects over the past several years, from lighting retrofits to green designs for the addition and renovation project completed at Huntley High School last year. Those projects have resulted in annual savings of more than $667,000 on energy costs.

“We’re honored to have earned the ENERGY STAR for superior energy performance at seven of our buildings and appreciate the efforts of everyone who has been involved in getting to this point,” said Doug Renkosik, director of operations and maintenance at Huntley 158. “Saving energy is just one of the ways we show our commitment to the environment, public health, and our taxpayers.”

ENERGY STAR certified buildings and plants are verified to perform in the top 25 percent of buildings nationwide, based on weather-normalized source energy use that takes into account occupancy, hours of operation, and other key metrics. On average, ENERGY STAR certified buildings and plants use 35 percent less energy, cause 35 percent fewer greenhouse gas emissions, and are less expensive to operate than their peers—all without sacrifices in performance or comfort.

“Huntley 158 continues to demonstrate true environmental leadership by reducing harmful greenhouse gas emissions that are proven to contribute to climate change,” stated Jean Lupinacci, ENERGY STAR Director for Commercial & Industrial Buildings. “Today, 45 percent of U.S. emissions are attributable to commercial and industrial buildings, which is why improving energy efficiency is so critical for our future.”