The back-to-school season is underway. While you’re thinking about picking up some green gear for the new school year, did you ever stop to think about how green your school is? K-12 schools across the nation are stepping up their green efforts to save energy and money. Here are eight great examples of ways schools are going green:
Chicago Public Schools
To achieve its goal of earning an ENERGY STAR® rating of 75 or higher, the Chicago Public School system is using the ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager to evaluate the energy performance of all the schools in the district. Teachers and students are getting involved to cut electric and natural gas consumption by 5% or more to earn Energy Shared Savings, which are reinvested in building improvements.
Cypress Fairbanks Independent School District
Cypress Fairbanks I.S.D. in Texas earned more than $631,000 in incentives through the CenterPoint Energy SCORE (Schools Conserving of Resources’ Energy) Program. In addition to a projected 10-year savings of $7 million in utility costs, the district was able to fund more than 140 teacher positions through its participation in the SCORE Program.
Long Beach City School District
The Long Beach City S.D. in New York is going green with its clean-fueled school bus fleet. The district purchased 20 new buses that run on compressed natural gas (CNG) and retrofit 18 diesel buses with emission-reducing technology. These measures are expected to displace 4.8 million pounds of pollutants and save more than half a million gallons of petroleum.
Through the Schools for Energy Efficiency® (SEE) Program, Readington Township schools in New Jersey saved 13% on its electricity consumption, 3% on its natural gas consumption and $93,550 on energy costs. The SEE Program uses low- or no-cost measures to reduce a school’s energy cost.
San Diego Unified School District
San Diego U.S.D. in California saved energy by reducing its consumption. Lighting and HVAC systems were updated, and new monitoring programs were implemented to track usage.
Seaford School District
The Seaford School District in Delaware focused part of its energy conservation efforts on revising its energy policy. The school district set new district-wide standards for seasonal thermostat settings in various school building environments. It found a savings of 3% per degree changed.
Southwest Licking School District
Southwest Licking S.D. in Ohio used performance contracting to make $1.6 million in infrastructure improvements without costing the taxpayers any additional money. Performance contracts use the savings from energy-efficient upgrades to pay for the improvements. Southwest Licking S.D. is moving toward green energy with a solar installation that serves double duty as a learning tool for students.
Westover School in Middlebury, Connecticut, generates 23% of its own electricity with its solar panel arrays atop three campus buildings. The school also installed its own co-generation system that uses natural gas to generate electricity. The co-generation system also captures heat by-product for hot water and to heat the school’s athletic center.