In addition to educating the students, energy conservation and pollution reduction have been priorities for The York County School Division for many years. As far back as 1997 the school division was endeavoring to cut energy consumption by signing a performance contract to save energy and money. The contract included replacing old inefficient T-12 fluorescent lighting and installing a direct digital building automation system. The program paid for the improvements through the energy savings.
York County Schools are also extremely conscious of protecting the Chesapeake Bay and do so using multiple strategies. One strategy which directly reduces pollution in the bay is replacing harmful chemical water treatment systems on building cooling towers with environmentally friendly ozone water treatment systems. The other strategy is reducing the amount of pollution entering the bay by cutting the amount of electricity the division consumes in the schools each day. By using less electricity less coal or natural gas is burned to generate electricity and this creates less pollution.
YCSD uses a multi-faceted approach to continue to reduce pollution and decrease energy waste. First, they oversee the implementation of high performance energy saving designs during building construction. Secondly, they ensure that the school buildings are operating properly and efficiently. Lastly, they seek to educate employees and students through presentations and short power point sessions on energy savings methods.
Since 2004, the school division has saved over $2.5 million. The division has won many environmental impact and energy efficiency awards. The division is one of only twenty-nine K-12 Energy Star Leaders in the nation and has 12 ENERGYSTAR certified buildings.
There are a number of clubs in the schools that are also working to promote green projects and energy conservation. The York County School Division also promotes environmental initiatives such as Earth Day, Energy Awareness Month and Energy Star's Change a Light campaign.