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DOE recognizes Better Buildings Challenge partner Parkway School District for leadership in energy efficiency

Parkway School District - solar
100 kW of rooftop solar arrays provide clean energy to the Parkway South High School building and help to reduce energy bills. Images courtesy of DOE

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) recognized Better Buildings Challenge partner Parkway School District in St. Louis, Missouri, for energy efficiency achievements and leadership across its portfolio. The St. Louis-area district operates 34 buildings across a total of 3.3 million square feet and serves more than 17,000 students in grades pre-K through 12. Parkway hosted DOE for a tour of South High School to showcase its successful renewable energy measures and efficiency strategies.

Parkway School District is demonstrating the energy and cost savings potential of renewable energy investments to schools across the country. Schools like Parkway’s South High School are not only leading the way in efficiency, but also laying the groundwork for the next generation of the clean energy workforce by involving students from the ground up.

Alejandro Moreno, Acting Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy
Parkway School District - geothermal
120 vertical wells are drilled 500 ft. deep into a field adjacent to the building.

Parkway has taken a comprehensive approach to improving efficiency at South High School, resulting in more than 20% annual energy savings and $100,000 annual cost savings. The district has installed a central geothermal plant and 75kW solar array and implemented building envelope upgrades, LED lighting retrofits and controls, and retro-commissioning of the school’s HVAC system.

Parkway School District - geothermal
Students learn about geothermal energy at the test well built near the school in 2018.

Parkway’s work at South High School builds on the partner’s decades of progress in energy efficiency. In 2020, the school district achieved its Better Buildings Challenge energy goal, reaching 25% reduction in energy intensity across its portfolio. Parkway has since set an additional goal of 35% reduction in energy intensity by 2025, and its exemplary work at South High School will help the school district progress toward this target. By publicly committing to these goals and sharing data and solutions to decarbonization, Parkway is demonstrating leadership to the K-12 education sector and the broader economy.

The Better Buildings Challenge is a component of the Better Buildings Initiative, through which DOE partners with public and private sector organizations to make commercial, public, industrial, and residential buildings more efficient, thereby saving energy and money while reducing emissions and strengthening the economy. To date, more than 900 Better Buildings partners have saved more than $15 billion in energy costs while sharing their innovative strategies. Discover more than 3,000 of these solutions in the Better Buildings Solution Center.