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U.S. Department of Energy Recognizes Mt. Washington Elementary School

U.S. Department of Energy Recognizes Mt. Washington Elementary School

A major renovation later and Mt. Washington Elementary School is an entirely different facility with energy efficiency noticed at the national level.

The U.S. Department of Energy recognized Better Buildings Challenge partner, Bullitt County Public Schools for the energy efficiency upgrades and advances made at Mt. Washington Elementary School.

Serving over 13,000 students in grades K-12, the school district is committed to improving its energy performance by 20% over a 10-year period across its 2 million square foot portfolio. The school district is well on its way to achieving this goal and has already reduced energy by 18% from a 2013 baseline.

Director of DOE’s Better Building Challenge Maria Vargas visited Mt. Washington Elementary School, the district’s Better Buildings Showcase Project, Nov. 13 to congratulate the school on its significant energy savings achieved.

“Bravo to the district and Mt. Washington Elementary School investing in these important energy saving initiative, Vargas said.

The school was selected for a year-and-a-half-long renovation that resulted in 32% annual energy savings and $28,000 annual cost savings.

Bullitt County Public Schools Superintendent Jesse Bacon, District Energy Manager Kimberly Joseph and Vargas emphasized the importance of energy efficiency to the media.

“The Bullitt County Public School District has engaged students and faculty in its commitment to energy management by implementing a district energy plan that encourages each person to take responsibility for using energy efficiently,” Bacon said.

Joseph added the plan includes guidelines on building operations and maintenance.

“This includes temperature controls, building resource management, lighting, space heaters, filters, holiday period procedures, new construction standards and water conservation.”   

Mt. Washington was an open concept elementary school, originally opened in 1974. Through 2015 and 2016, the building received a major mechanical, electrical, and plumbing renovation which included a new white foam roof, additional square footage added for the new gym and library, and expanded administrative suite.

Post renovation, comparing the following two school years to the district’s energy program baseline (2005/2006), here are the numbers:


Electric - 57% reduction, equaling $50,094 in savings

N. Gas - 75% reduction, equaling $3,655 in savings


Electric - 66% reduction, equaling $60,253 in savings

N. Gas - 64% reduction, equaling $3,412 in savings

The New HVAC system - geothermal, high efficiency heat pumps, and wireless building automation controls

The Old HVAC system was originally large constant volume, gas fired rooftop units - with additional electric reheat for individual spaces. 

The New HVAC system is primarily a large geothermal, high efficiency heat pump system, with two large rooftop units that provide fresh air.

LED lighting throughout the inside and outside; it’s the district standard now for all projects. All lighting was changed from T8 fluorescent to LED lighting, with lighting controls. 

The renovation also added additional square footage to the building which included a new library/media center.

MWES Energy Team Sponsor Carla Young and fifth grade student Energy Team Auditors Emma Walker, Lauren Sexton, Dannica Barnett, Aubrey Askins and Ava Stout were recognized for their work.

Students excitedly described their respective roles in energy auditing by marking down rooms with classroom lights and electrical devices still on when the room is empty, picking up recyclables twice a week and instilling in fellow classmates the necessity of saving energy.

According to information from the U.S Department of Energy, Better Buildings is an initiative designed to improve the lives of the American people by driving leadership in energy innovation. Through Better Buildings, DOE partners with leaders in the public and private sectors to make the nation’s homes, commerce buildings and industrial plants more energy efficient by accelerating investment and sharing of successful best practices. Greater efficiency saves billions of dollars on energy bills, reduces greenhouse emissions, and creates jobs. More than 900 organizations now partner with DOE in Better Buildings and have saved more than $3 billion in energy costs to date.

The Better Buildings Challenge is a network of leading businesses, manufacturers, cities, states, universities, and school districts that commit to improving the energy efficiency of their portfolio of buildings by at least 20% over 10 years and sharing their strategies and results.

Discover more than 1,500 proven solutions in the Better Business Solution Center.

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Bullitt County Public Schools
1040 Highway 44 East
Shepherdsville, KY 40165