Two Iowa businesses and one school district recognized by EPA for energy efficiency


(Energy Star)
(Energy Star)
Nick Fetty | March 30, 2016

Two Iowa-based businesses and one school district were recognized by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Tuesday for energy efficiency in Region 7.

Pella Corporation – a window and door manufacturer based in Pella, Iowa – was one of eight businesses nationwide recognized as a 2016 Energy Star Partner of the Year for Outstanding Achievements in Energy Efficiency. The company is being recognized for manufacturing Energy Star certified products. Additionally, Pella Corporation has partnered with Lawrence Berkeley National Labs – based at the University of California-Berkeley – for developing automated shading technology. The company also sponsored the 2015 Solar Decathlon Education Days to teach students about energy efficiency and renewable energy.

Principal Real Estate Investors was recognized by EPA as a Partner of the Year for Energy Management. The Des Moines-based company was selected for its efforts which reduced energy consumption by 1.8 percent and for achieving 2015 Energy Star certification at 65 buildings, including 60 re-certifications. Principal also received an “A” rating on the United Nations Principles of Responsible Investing annual survey.

Des Moines Public Schools (DMPS) was recognized as an Energy Star Partner of the Year in Sustained Excellence for energy efficient facilities and educational efforts. Three new DMPS buildings achieved Energy Star status in 2015, bringing the grand total of Energy Star-certified buildings district-wide to 49. DMPS has saved more than $2 million since first implementing its energy management approach in 2008. DMPS is the largest school district in Iowa, serving more than 32,000 students.

Principal and DMPS were both honored as part of a joint effort between EPA and the U.S. Department of Energy.

Awards will be presented to recipients during a ceremony in Washington D.C. on April 13.

Eco-friendly college living tips


This is a smart strip power strip. Cutting off power to the electronic plugged into the blue outlet automatically causes the electronics plugged into the red outlets to shut off. Photo by villagelinca, Flickr.

Sustainability at Iowa has released a list of tips to make college living more eco-friendly.

The advice includes using a Smart Strip Power Strip, which will shut off a group of electronics whenever one of the electronics in the group is turned off. For instance, you could group a TV, DVD player and cable box together, and set up the power strip to automatically turn off the DVD player and cable box every time you turn off the TV.

Other recommendations include purchasing Energy Star products, shopping at thrift stores and avoiding motorized transportation when possible.

Read the full article here.

Iowa’s energy efficient homes on the rise


Photo by CERTs

Iowa is among the nation’s leaders in creating energy efficient homes. According to the EPA, there was a 21 percent increase in homes built to Energy Star standards from 2009 to 2010.

Often, the energy efficient measures taken to reach Energy Star guidelines include effective insulation, high-performance windows, tight seals and efficient heating and cooling systems.

Iowa was among sixteen states that had over 25 percent of its homes reach Energy Star certification in 2010. The other states were Arizona, Colorado, Delaware, Hawaii, Kentucky, Maryland, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, Ohio, Oklahoma, Rhode Island, Texas, Utah, and Vermont.