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Schools recognized for energy efficiency
Energy Efficiency pic1
Julia Mashburn, left, is presented an EPACT Certification by Elaine Wilson last month. - photo by Chelsea Thomas Dawson Community News

Riverview Elementary and Dawson County Middle schools were recognized last month for being energy efficient.

According to an independent energy audit performed by Energy Designs System Inc., which is based in Michigan, the county's two newest schools are estimated to save more than $35,000 per year each in energy efficiency.

According to the Dawson County Schools Web site, Riverview Elementary, which opened in August 2010, "achieved a projected 36.35 percent reduction in overall energy consumption with an estimated savings potential of $35,308 per year."

The Web site also reports that Dawson County Middle, which reopened in its new facility in August 2008, "achieved a 41.27 percent reduction in overall energy consumption, an estimated savings potential of $53,075 per year."

In five years the system could save more than $440,000 toward its operating budget with both schools savings combined, according to projection estimates.

Superintendent Keith Porter is proud that the school system has received the recognition.

"Now, with the budget situations as they are, it is becoming increasingly important that we are efficient in our use of our resources," he said.

"We are very excited to have garnered this type of recognition that is evidence that the facilities that we are providing our students are efficient and have the capability to save the tax payer dollars."

To receive the recognition, Energy Designs System Inc. had to evaluate the design of the facilities and followed up with site visits.

The buildings have been recognized through the United States Energy Policy Act of 2005 for energy efficiency and power usage efficiency referred to as EPACT Certification.

Certification for EPACT requires a minimum of 33 and one-third or greater reduction in overall energy consumption potential.

Both schools were designed by the architectural and engineering firm of Robertson, Loia and Roof.