Richardsville Elementary, Bowling Green Kentucky

The first net-zero school in the United States.


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Kentucky Forward

Schools like Richardsville Elementary in Warren County that have achieved the net zero standard can reap considerable savings, according to Kentucky Department for Energy Development and Independence Efficiency and Conservation Director Greg Guess. Guess said Richardsville Elementary had no energy bill in 2012, and instead received a check from its energy provider, TVA, for over $37,200.

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Featured in Forbes

However, Kentucky’s crown jewel is surely its net zero Richardsville Elementary School in Warren County. A net zero building is an edifice that produces the same amount (or more) energy as it consumes. Net zero buildings will become increasingly more common as renewable technologies (such as solar and wind), and efficient end-use technologies (such as LED lighting and high efficiency climate control systems) drop in price. But technologies and prices alone are not the real key to creating net zero buildings. The real trick is to apply the holistic thinking required to view a building as a “living” entity that involves integrated planning for the interactions of various systems and the needs of the people inside the building.

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