San Bernardino City Unified School District Leads California And Ranks Fifth Nationally In Energy Efficiency

District is Showcasing Commitment to Sustainability with June 20 Environmental Vehicle Trade Show

The San Bernardino City Unified School District (SBCUSD) proudly announces its achievement as the top-ranking school district in California and fifth in the nation for energy efficiency, according to a recent assessment conducted by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). This remarkable recognition reflects the District’s commitment to sustainability and its diligent efforts to reduce energy consumption while providing a safe and conducive learning environment for its more than 47,000 students in San Bernardino and Highland.

The EPA’s evaluation examined the energy efficiency initiatives and practices of school districts across the country, acknowledging the exceptional performance of SBCUSD in optimizing energy usage and implementing environmentally friendly measures. In fact, 49 SBCUSD schools were awarded the coveted Energy Star Awards.

The District has installed and is in the development and construction phase of solar panel shade structures at 41 of its schools, including a future ground mount solar farm, in which cumulatively will generate as much as 81 percent of the District’s electricity consumption, said Samuel Precie, Administrator of Operations. Over the last several years, the District has implemented many energy efficiency improvements including variable frequency drives, turbocor and multistage compressors, weather-based irrigation, LED lighting, cool roofs, power factor correction, and many other initiatives. The District’s energy management program has saved close to $50 million in cumulative costs and reduced SBCUSD’s energy use by nearly 40 percent. All vital given that the Inland Empire region has some of the worst air quality in the United States.

“Our district’s commitment to sustainability not only contributes to environmental conservation but also yields significant cost savings, allowing resources to be allocated towards enhancing educational programs and student supports. That’s a testament to our dedicated Board of Education, which truly values putting students first.”

To celebrate this remarkable achievement and promote further environmental awareness, the SBCUSD will be hosting an Electric Vehicle event at its upcoming Board of Education meeting on Tuesday, June 20. Participating vehicle makers include Karma Automotive, with a production facility nearby in Moreno Valley,  Zevx, and Phoenix Motorcars.

The District is purchasing its first electric utility truck, which will be on display at the show, from Phoenix Motorcars. And by this fall, SBCUSD will own five Ford Lightning electric trucks.

The event will showcase an impressive array of sustainable vehicles, including electric and conversion models, with participating automobile manufacturers offering insights into the latest advancements in eco-friendly transportation. The District is holding the show in preparation for a large purchase of electric vehicles for its fleet over the next 10 years and eventually transitioning its entire fleet of 330 vehicles to zero-emission vehicles. Board of Education members will have an opportunity to test drive the vehicles on June 20, ahead of the meeting’s start at 5:30 p.m.

This event, held at 4.30 p.m. in the Board of Education parking lot, 777 North F Street, will provide an opportunity for District staff, Board members, and community members to explore sustainable transportation options and learn about their benefits.

Beyond the purchase of electric vehicles, the accolades from the EPA reinforce the District’s ongoing commitment to environmental stewardship and energy conservation, said Precie, who oversees the District’s Operations Departments. By implementing energy-efficient technologies, optimizing building operations, and promoting sustainable practices throughout its expansive facilities across 110 square miles, SBCUSD continues to lead by example, inspiring other educational institutions and the broader community to embrace sustainability initiatives.

The San Bernardino City Unified School District invites media representatives to attend the Electric Vehicle event at 4:30 p.m. on June 20, 2023. This event promises to be an enlightening and engaging opportunity to witness the District’s dedication to environmental sustainability firsthand.

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