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IDEA Public Schools Named National Leader in Efficient and Healthy Schools Program 

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“The data detective category honors schools who demonstrate best practices to assess, benchmark, and utilize building data to prioritize school improvements,” said Antonio Guevara, Director of Energy Services at IDEA Public Schools. (AI) Image for illustration purposes
“The data detective category honors schools who demonstrate best practices to assess, benchmark, and utilize building data to prioritize school improvements,” said Antonio Guevara, Director of Energy Services at IDEA Public Schools. (AI) Image for illustration purposes
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IDEA PUBLIC SCHOOLS – The White House announced that IDEA Public Schools is among 13 K-12 schools nationwide to be celebrated by the U.S. Department of Energy, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and the U.S. Department of Education for improving energy efficiency and student health as part of the Efficient and Healthy Schools Program (EHSP). IDEA Public Schools received this national accolade for the first time in the category of Data Detective as part of the 2023-2024 Efficient and Healthy Schools Program (EHSP). 

“We are extremely proud of the work we have done at IDEA Public Schools to improve the efficiency of our systems,” said Daniel Garza, Vice President of Facilities and Construction at IDEA Public Schools. “Not only have these improvements lowered our operating costs, but these updates are shown to improve student health, boost academic performance, and provide an opportunity for our students and administration to lead by example at a national level.”  

“The data detective category honors schools who demonstrate best practices to assess, benchmark, and utilize building data to prioritize school improvements,” said Antonio Guevara, Director of Energy Services at IDEA Public Schools. “We have leveraged the professional development that we have obtained from the experts at the Department of Energy through the Energy CLASS Prize to make critical clean energy and health improvements across the district.”   

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Schools represent the third largest sector of commercial building energy usage in the United States. School building energy consumption costs U.S. school districts more than $8 billion annually and produces emissions equivalent to 18 coal-fired power plants. This number is staggering and part of the impetus to create the Efficient and Healthy School Program. 

The Efficient and Healthy Schools Program provides recognition and technical assistance to school districts across the nation seeking to implement high-impact indoor air quality and efficiency improvements that will reduce energy bills and improve student and teacher health.  

IDEA Public Schools has been working on this program during the 2023-2024 school year to achieve solutions with immediate impact and long-term benefits, including heating, ventilation, air conditioning (HVAC), and other technologies to reduce energy use and emissions. These best practices are helping other schools engage in similar efforts nationwide.  

Projects in the Data Detective category went beyond energy efficiency, and demonstrated best practices to assess, benchmark, and utilize building data to prioritize school improvements. IDEA Public Schools was recognized in this category based on our work to obtain ENERGY STAR building certifications on four of our sites districtwide, including three campuses, IDEA Elsa and IDEA Rio Grande City in the Rio Grande Valley and IDEA Edgemere in El Paso achieved near perfect ENERGY STAR scores. 

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This unique distinction recognizes IDEA Public Schools as a K-12 energy efficiency, health, comfort, and resilient leader. This recognition gives us the opportunity to build on our own success and allow the community to continue the project’s momentum to improve school infrastructure.  

For more information on IDEA Public Schools, please visit www.ideapublicschools.org. If you would like to request an interview with an IDEA Public Schools staff member, please contact Rebecca at rebecca.suarez@ideapublicschools.org

About the Efficient and Healthy Schools Program  

The Efficient and Healthy Schools Program aims to motivate and empower K-12 schools to reduce energy costs and improve energy efficiency, health, and resilience. The program connects schools with practical solutions and provides technical assistance and resources to improve school facilities significantly. It is led by the U.S. Department of Energy Building Technologies Office with technical support from Lawrence Berkeley National Lab and New Buildings Institute. 

About IDEA Public Schools  

IDEA Public Schools believes that each child can go to college. Since 2000, IDEA Public Schools has grown from a small school with 150 students to a network of tuition-free, K-12 public charter schools in the United States. Currently, the network serves over 80,000 college-bound students in 143 schools across Texas and its affiliates. IDEA has been recognized in national rankings for The Washington Post, The U.S. Department of Education’s list of Blue Ribbon Schools, and U.S. News & World Report’s Top High Schools lists. 

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