Weston public schools receive award for energy efficiency

By the Forum Staff

Weston public schools received first honors in the public school buildings category for excellence in energy efficiency at the first Power of Change Awards held Wednesday, May 22, at the state capitol.

Weston was recognized for its outstanding achievements by state and energy leaders, including Gov. Dannel Malloy; Daniel C. Esty, commissioner of the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP); Stewart Hudson, president of the Emily Hall Tremaine Foundation; Sabina Shelby, managing trustee of the Hampshire Foundation; Mally Cox-Chapman, philanthropy advisor of the Common Sense Fund; and state legislative leaders and energy stakeholders.

Accepting the award for Weston was Jo-Anne Keating, director of finance and operations of the Weston school district, and David Lustberg, the district’s energy manager.

“The entire school district should be very proud of their outstanding accomplishments in the area of energy conservation,” Dr. Keating said.

In addition to the award, the Weston Education Foundation will receive a check in the amount of $2,500 to fund an “energy conversation classroom project” at one or more schools in the district.

According to a press release, the Power of Change awards reinforce Gov. Malloy’s Lead by Example program, which calls for the win-win benefits of energy efficiency for Connecticut and its taxpayers. The winning municipal energy efficiency projects were celebrated as models for their energy-saving approaches and achievements in municipal projects.

Weston earned this award for outstanding reductions in BTUs per square foot over several school buildings: Central Office (836 MMBTUs), Weston Board of Education Annex (570 MMBTUs), Hurbutt Elementary School (4,216 MMBTUs), Weston Intermediate School (2,732 MMBTUs), Weston Middle School (6,701 MMBTUs), and Weston High School (5,464 MMBTUs).

The program involved making both behavioral and operations changes to achieve these results, without having to purchase or replace HVAC systems.

Summing up the entire awards program, Stewart Hudson of the Emily Hall Tremaine Foundation said, “We created the Power of Change Award first as an opportunity to encourage more state and municipal leaders to make important investments in their future, and also as an occasion to give energy efficiency leaders their due recognition. We believe that it is vital to celebrate success in our towns and cities. The Power of Change Awards celebrate good government practices that protect human health, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and in the process, help the Connecticut economy and save taxpayer dollars.”

In presenting the award, Mr. Hudson thanked the members of the 15-member committee of energy and conservation experts who judged the awards: Alan Taylor, CT Board of Education; John Rathgeber, Connecticut Business and Industry Association; Laurie Burt, former commissioner for the environment, Massachusetts; Bill Leahy, Eastern Connecticut State University; Bryan Garcia, Connecticut Clean Energy Finance and Investment Authority; Mariella Puerto, Barr Foundation; K.C. Golden, Climate Solutions; Dudley Williams, GE Investments, and CT Science Center; Dr. Prabhakar Singh, UConn; Roger Smith, Clean Water Action; and Karen Brown, Fairfield County Community Foundation.

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