Education

School Energy Manager Project (SEMP), Kentucky School Boards Association

Award category
Year released
2020

The School Energy Manager Project (SEMP), a service by the Kentucky School Boards Association, began in 2010 after receiving $5 million dollars in funding from the Obama Administration to develop an Energy Management Program for Kentucky K-12 public schools. This funding helped local school districts hire energy managers and to get an Energy Management Program started in most of the Kentucky’s 173 public school districts.

When the initial investment had been spent, many school districts continued to fund this program, finding great value and seeing results in energy reduction and education for their students. For 5 years, a partnership with Kentucky utilities contributed to the energy manager’s salary. While the SEMP officially ended in 2018, its legacy continues with many schools maintaining the Energy Management Program.

Due to this program and SEMP leadership, many remarkable results have been seen. The statewide energy utilization index for Kentucky’s Public Schools lowered over an eight-year period from 65 to below 50 KBTU/SF/yr. The corresponding dollar savings (returned to the classroom) were over $225 Million. Despite rising energy costs, Kentucky schools are spending less in non-transportation energy in today than in FY2010. The number of ENERGY STAR labeled school buildings in Kentucky went from 12 in 2008 to 450 through fiscal year 2018, making Kentucky the third ranked state in the nation for the highest percentage of ENERGY STAR labeled school buildings at the time. Over 600,000 metric tons of CO2 gases into the environment were eliminated.

The School Energy Management Project was recognized nationally by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Energy as an ENERGY STAR Partner of the Year in Program Delivery for 5 years of Sustained Excellence.

Ameren Illinois

Award category
Year released
2019

The success of the Ameren Illinois Energy Efficiency Program depends largely on our statewide network of Program Allies. These specially trained contractors help customers access Ameren Illinois incentives to implement energy-saving measures. To strengthen and add diversity to this network, in 2017 Ameren Illinois created an Ameren Illinois Opportunities Scholarship Program to help train the next generation of workers in energy-efficient Construction Management and HVAC. Our scholarship program is unique in its focus on hands-on vocational skills versus academic performance. We look beyond a student’s GPA, working closely with school instructors to identify promising minority candidates based on attitude, performance, and capability. Our Ameren Illinois Opportunities Scholarship Program reflects Ameren Illinois’ strong commitment to supplier diversity, while filling a business need and boosting local economies.

National Energy Foundation

Award category
Year released
2018

The National Energy Foundation (NEF) is a unique 501(c)(3) nonprofit educational organization founded in 1976 and dedicated to the development, dissemination and implementation of supplementary educational materials and programs such as Think! Energy. NEF recognizes the importance and contribution of energy and natural resources to our economy, to our national security, the environment 
and our quality of life. 

NEF programs reach over 500,000 students annually, including students in Ohio, Indiana, Missouri, Minnesota and Michigan. NEF’s flagship program, Think! Energy, began in 2007 in Indiana, with Michigan programs starting in 2010 for Consumers Energy, DTE Energy and Efficiency United.

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