Preserving energy is everyone's job

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By Staff

New reports surface almost daily about the toll our carbon footprint is taking on the environment. Our reliance on fossil fuels paints a scary picture for Earth’s future. The science is reputable, and the problem cannot be ignored any longer.

Small-town America has been guilty in the past of thinking only metropolitan areas need to take action to reverse the effects of global warming. We are fortunate that leaders in Nelson County are not of that mindset.

The Nelson County Justice Center earned an Energy Star award Nov. 28 from the Kentucky Division of Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency.

The Energy Star is a national symbol for protecting the environment through energy performance. To qualify for an Energy Star, buildings must earn at least 75 points out of the Environmental Protection Agency’s 100-point energy-performance rating system.

The 50,000-square-foot justice center is heated and cooled with geothermal water-source heat pumps. The building also has energy-efficient doors, windows and insulation. These features amount to about $10,000 in annual savings.

Only 17 other buildings in Kentucky — and just 25 courthouses nationwide — have received the Energy Star. Nelson County Judge-Executive Dean Watts accepted the award from John Davies, who said the Nelson County Justice Center is part of a very select group. He commended those behind the project for “durability and responsible energy use.”

We second that commendation. The foresight that went into designing an energy-efficient building is evidence that Nelson County, though much a history-minded community, is also focused on the future.

All of us must do our part to remedy the harm we have inflicted on our planet. It’s everyone’s problem, regardless of whether you see smokestacks or farmland on your daily route.

We applaud Nelson County for helping to tackle a perceived big-city problem while retaining its small-town charm.