LITTLETON – Superintendent Dr. Kelly Clenchy is pleased to announce that Energy Manager Dave Riley has received a Lifetime Achievement Award by Project Green Schools for his commitment to reducing the district’s energy footprint and promoting conservation.
Riley retired as a Littleton Middle School computer teacher in 2007, then rejoined Littleton Public Schools in 2008 when the District hired a company to address its energy concerns.
Since then, Littleton Public Schools has received numerous awards and recognition for its conservation efforts under Riley’s leadership. District schools were awarded a National Green Ribbon School District Sustainability Award in 2016, the only K-12 public school district in the country to earn the honor that year.
Riley has coordinated with the Town of Littleton staff on successful grant proposals. In 2020, the state Department of Energy Resources awarded Littleton a $200,000 Green Communities grant to install LED lighting in all three schools and in Town Hall, and to upgrade HVAC controls at Littleton High School. Previous Green Communities grants have allowed the district to install regulators on school boilers, increasing efficiencies and reducing energy costs.
Riley also coordinates with Littleton Public Schools teachers and staff on green-related projects and curriculum. And he is known for going into schools after hours to check energy use. On one winter night, the Littleton High School gym registered 78 degrees. Due to a software issue, the District energy management system said it was 68 degrees there.
“If no one was in there at 10 on a Saturday night, no one would have known,” Riley said.
Riley maintains the Energy Management and Conservation Program website. As of May 31, 2021:
- The District has saved 35.3 percent of expected energy costs, or about $2.81 million, since July 2007.
- Conservation measures have reduced the impact of greenhouse gases by 11,689 tons of carbon dioxide.
- The cumulative impact of conservation is the equivalent of 2,435 cars not driven for one year, or 299,731 tree seedlings planted and grown for 10 years.
In her nomination, Dr. Valerie Finnerty, Science Curriculum Coordinator for Grades 6-12 and a Grade 8 Science teacher, wrote about Riley’s impact: “Dave would visit every classroom several times a week after school and leave ‘sticky note’ reminders if we didn’t shut down our computers, turn off our lights, printers, and projectors, and close our shades. He put stickers up next to light switches to remind us to turn them off.
“Before long weekends and vacations, Dave reminds staff to unplug everything,” Dr. Finnerty added. “He visits classrooms during breaks and still occasionally leaves those notes!”
“I was pleasantly surprised by the award,” Riley said. “Just the fact that we’re helping to save our Earth makes me feel good about this program. We’re saving energy. But we’re also saving jobs with budgets being tight.”
Superintendent Clenchy said: “We are very proud of Dave’s accomplishments. Dave’s leadership is a big reason Littleton is one of the leading green school districts in the country, and why the District is developing the next generation of energy conservationists.”