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ENERGY STAR Leaders

Somerset Hills Regional School District, NJ

Logo for Somerset Hills Regional School District, NJ Bernardsville, New Jersey
10% Improvement (2010)
20% Improvement (2013)

Somerset Hills School District (SHSD), located in Bernardsville, NJ, is a regionalized school district serving the Somerset Hills area of Northern Somerset County. SHSD serves more than 2,000 Pre-K through 12th grade students across more than 437,100 square feet of floor space, and employs more than 300 certified and support staff members. The district is focused on meeting the needs of all students through the delivery of a world-class educational program that reflects the whole-child commitment to the development of each student.  The district has been nationally recognized for its academic excellence and continuously strives for improvement in all areas. In 2012, the district participated in the inaugural year of the Department of Educations Green Ribbon Program.  Bernards High School was awarded a New Jersey Green Ribbon and went on to become one of only 78 schools in the country to win a National Green Ribbon.  In 2013, the district participated in the Green Ribbon Program again, where Bedwell Elementary School was awarded a New Jersey Green Ribbon and went on to become one of only 64 schools in the country to win a National Green Ribbon.  SHSD partnered with the Schools for Energy Efficiency (SEE) program in 2009 and became an ENERGY STAR Partner in 2010.

Somerset Hills School District has been recognized by EPA as an ENERGY STAR Leader for improving the energy efficiency of its portfolio by more than 20 percent compared to a 2009 baseline. SHSD's energy efficiency program involves no-cost and low-cost behavioral and operational strategies. Behavioral strategies are implemented by students, teachers, and administrators at the school buildings and include turning off lights when not needed, closing doors to maintain temperature control, unplugging unused equipment, and turning off computer monitors and other electronics when not in use. Operational strategies include infrastructure improvements, maintaining and efficiently operating HVAC equipment, upgrading windows and lighting, and identifying de-lamping opportunities in overlit areas.  The district's energy consumption is measured and tracked in Portfolio Manager, EPA's ENERGY STAR measurement and tracking tool, and SEE's utility tracking tool. By tracking the districts energy consumption students have learned that their actions have a direct impact on the district's energy efficiency goals, as well as on the environment. These measures have saved the district a total cost savings of more than $430,000.  Compared to its 2009 baseline, the district currently prevents the emissions of more than 770 metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions annually, which is equivalent to the carbon sequestered by more than 19,800 tree seedlings planted and grown for 10 years.