Congratulations to the KSBA School Energy Managers Project (SEMP) team for being recognized at the recent 39th Governor’s Conference on Energy and the Environment.
KSBA-SEMP and project Director Ron Willhite were honored along with the Kentucky Association of Manufacturers and its CEO for outstanding contributions by public and private sectors in Kentucky’s energy field by promoting and using energy efficiency and alternative energy resources.
“On behalf of Gov. Steve Beshear, and the entire Energy and Environment Cabinet, I would like to congratulate you for your marked distinction as leaders and for your contributions to Kentucky’s energy future,” said EEC Secretary Len Peters. “The awards presented here today honor you for understanding the challenges faced by Kentucky’s changing energy landscape, especially in our manufacturing and education sectors, and for dedicating yourselves to innovation and sustainability. I hope that the generations of today and tomorrow will be inspired by your examples.”
Now in its fifth year, the KSBA-SEMP program educates and supports school districts’ energy management efforts. The program provides energy management and technical support to all of Kentucky’s 173 public school districts, and has placed 35 energy managers – the ‘boots on the ground’ – to provide services in 85 districts. The cabinet noted that due to Willhite’s visionary leadership and commitment to energy and the environment, schools participating in the SEMP program have saved more than $50 million in cumulative avoided costs—redirecting savings back to the classroom.
Today, Kentucky schools are among the most energy-efficient in the nation, ranking second in percentage of ENERGY STAR school buildings, in large part due to his efforts.
The KSBA-SEMP program was developed in partnership with the Kentucky Energy and Environment Cabinet as part of a comprehensive energy and education effort. Since its inception, KSBA has secured additional funding sources to provide partial support to school energy managers. KSBA-SEMP has twice been awarded the distinguished ENERGY STAR Partner of the Year Award by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for the successful energy management program.
Photo above: KSBA-SEMP Director Ron Willhite accepts the award from Dr. Len Peters, secretary of the Energy and Environment Cabinet (left) and John Davies, deputy commissioner of the Department for Energy Development and Independence (right).