Loudoun County schools earn EPA's 'Energy Star'

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LEESBURG, Va. (AP) - Many Washington-area school systems have environmental initiatives, but Loudoun County schools are standing out for how much energy they're saving.

The Washington Post reports Loudoun was one of only three school districts nationwide to be singled out by the Environmental Protection Agency for "sustained excellence" in energy conservation.

Energy education specialists John Lord and Mike Barancewicz have been working to change the school culture around energy use to save as much power as possible. They urge teachers to turn lights off, unplug devices and keep window shades down.

Now 47 of Loudoun's school buildings have earned the EPA's Energy Star, meaning they operate more efficiently than three-quarters of similar buildings.

School officials say the energy-conservation program has saved the district more than $51 million over the past 20 years.

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