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Bethlehem Area School District

Logo for Bethlehem Area School District Bethlehem, Pennsylvania
20% Improvement (2013)
Top Performer (2013)

The Bethlehem Area School District serves more than 14,000 students across more than 2.5 million square feet of space in the City of Bethlehem, the Boroughs of Fountain Hill and Freemansburg, and the Townships of Bethlehem and Hanover in Northampton County, Pennsylvania. In partnership with families and the community, the Bethlehem Area School District is committed to providing a safe and supportive environment in which each student will attain the knowledge, skills, and attitudes necessary to become a productive citizen and life-long learner in our technologically demanding and culturally diverse society. The District has taken a proactive approach to energy management by developing a comprehensive district-wide Energy Plan, which is integrated into the district-wide Capital Improvement Plan, as well as the Energy Policy adopted by the School Board. An ENERGY STAR Partner since 1999, the District also participates in energy efficiency programs with local utility providers and raises energy awareness among students by integrating energy-related lessons into the curriculum at each learning level.

The Bethlehem Area School District has been recognized by EPA as an ENERGY STAR Leader for achieving a 20 percent improvement in energy efficiency compared to a 2009 baseline. The District has also been recognized as a Top Performer for achieving an average ENERGY STAR energy performance score of 92 across its portfolio. Energy efficiency improvements implemented by the District include implementing a district-wide Johnson Controls Metasys update which allows for closer control of occupied times and set points while reducing operating times for HVAC equipment; initiating an active electrical demand management program which reduces the districts peak load contribution (PLC); replacing lighting in five gymnasium/multi-purpose spaces; installing new T8 fluorescent fixtures with occupancy sensors; and installing two high-efficiency condensing boilers. Additional measures to help fight climate change include installing 1.6 collective megawatts of solar power generating capacity, which provides an estimated 2 million kWh of electricity annually and avoids the emission of more than 2.7 million pounds of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases. The project will save an estimated $1.6 million in energy costs over its lifetime. The District also recently constructed a new LEED Gold certified middle school. The energy cost savings and partnership with ENERGY STAR have helped the District maintain a stable budget despite declines in state-supported funding. Compared to its baseline year, the district currently prevents the annual emissions of more than 2,900 metric tons of carbon dioxide, which is equivalent to the carbon sequestered by more than 74,000 tree seedlings planted and grown for 10 years.