Back-to-School Energy Savings in 2012-13 Curriculum

Release Date: Thursday, September 6, 2012

Successful Alliance to Save Energy Program Cut Energy Use 
By 11% to Save $1 Million+ in 2011-12 School Year

The Alliance started the 2012-2013 school year building on 16 years of success in educating students to lead in cutting energy waste at their K-12 schools nationwide to capture sizable financial savings that can be redirected to classroom needs.

And those savings don’t require an investment in new equipment – just the research, enthusiasm, and hard work of students working with teachers and facility staff to identify opportunities to change the way they use energy.

PowerSave Schools

Savings in the Millions

Last year alone, 147 schools partnered with the Alliance and area utilities to educate students about saving energy in their classrooms, in school assembly rooms, and even in their own homes.

Overall, those schools cut energy use by an average of 11%, shaved more than $1.3 million off their energy bills, eliminated 6,650 metric tons of CO2, and saved nearly 11 million kWh – enough to power more than 855 homes for an entire year.

A New Identity – PowerSave Schools

As the Alliance education program begins a new school year, it also unveils a new name: The PowerSave Schools Program. Formerly the Green Schools Program, PowerSave Schools continues to highlight how energy efficiency education empowers students to use science and math skills to conduct energy audits, calculate and analyze data, present results, share recommendations, and create energy plans that cut waste and save significant money at their schools. 

“At a time when schools are facing steep budget cuts and increasing energy costs, the PowerSave Schools Program is even more important to schools and their students,” said Alliance Vice President for Education Merrilee Harrigan. “Not only are schools saving money, but students of all backgrounds are also becoming leaders, protecting the environment, and building pathways to green jobs,” she added.  

“We are very proud of the creative ways PowerSave students are sharing the energy efficiency message beyond their school walls, said the Alliance’s Oakland-based Senior Director of Education Jo Tiffany. “Last school year in Southern California alone, student leaders reached more than 48,000 people through community outreach events, and more than 14,000 students learned about green careers at 65 events.”

PowerSave Schools California

California Schools Have Led the Way

California has the longest and most successful history with the Alliance’s program. Over the last 13 years, nearly 1,000 Southern California schools have participated through the generous partnership of Southern California Edison and previous funders, helping schools cut energy use an average of 5-15% and as much as 25%. Individual schools’ results for the 2011-12 school year are available here

PowerSave Schools Team Lead Amada Ayers, a teacher at Washington Elementary School in southern California’s Corona-Norco Unified School District, noted, “Thanks to the PowerSave program, students had a wonderful opportunity to investigate environmental science and were publicly recognized for their success.”

That happened when a student won first-place in the Environmental Education division at the school district’s Green Science Fair for a project exploring the energy efficiency potential of various roofing materials and colors.  

Program Welcomes New Schools

The California PowerSave Schools Program is proud to welcome several new school districts to the program this year, including Centinela Valley Union High School District, La Habra City School District, and Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD). 

“As the nation’s second largest school district and the largest consumer of energy in Los Angeles, LAUSD has the potential for enormous energy and money savings for both the district and the city through its participation in PowerSave Schools,” Tiffany observed.

In Pennsylvania, Direct Energy launched an Alliance program in 16 schools in Allegheny and Montgomery Counties last year, racking up energy savings of 13.6% and monetary savings of more than $177,500. Last year’s Tennessee Valley Authority-funded program toted up 9.7% and about $645,600 in savings, while the Baltimore and Prince Georges County, Md., programs combined saved 5.6% and more than $9,500.

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