Energy Conservation – Getting Others Involved
Last week our blog discussed the importance of getting the entire school community involved to ensure success with your energy conservation plan. To that note, we have gotten a few others involved to share with us just effective getting others involved can be. Take a listen to our latest podcasts featuring:
John Dufay, Director of Maintenance and Operations at Albuquerque Public Schools
Lisa Randall, Energy Conservation Program Coordinator at Santa Fe Public Schools
Sue Pierce, Director of Facility Planning and Energy at Washington Elementary District and Owner of Pierce Energy Planning
Getting Others Involved With Your Energy Conversation Efforts to Ensure Success:
- Energy Conservation: Lisa Randall, Energy Conservation Program Coordinator for Santa Fe Public Schools Discusses Getting Others Involved (46) Conservation Series: Energy Conservation – Getting Others Involved
- Energy Conservation: John Dufay, Director of Maintenance & Operations at Albuquerque Public Schools Talks Getting Others Involved (2) Conservation Series: Energy Conservation - Getting Others Involved
- Energy Conservation: Sue Pierce and Roger Young Discuss Getting Others Involved (44) Conservation Series: Energy Conservation - Getting Others Involved
Achieve Success in Your Energy Conservation Plan. Get the Entire School Community Involved!
Managing energy consumption is a challenge. Without faculty and community involvement, energy conservation plans won’t succeed, but simple programs elicit high involvement. Sue Pierce, Director of Facility Planning and Energy at Washington Elementary District in Arizona and owner of Pierce Energy Planning consulting firm and Roger Young, Executive Director of Facility Masters, have recently hosted a series of conversations discussing best practices for energy conservation programs, including how to track energy data and how to create your energy plan. Now you can read and listen to their thoughts on getting others involved—the next step for effective energy conservation programs in schools.
Who should you get involved in your program?
- Principal of each school
- Teachers and faculty
Let’s first cover principals. Sue mentions it is critical to get principals involved because it will end there if the principal has not bought in. Also, ask the principal which faculty or staff is excited about the program. Once you have some names, meet with them. Discuss the campus, students, and brainstorm about how to get buy-in from the campus at large.
Faculty: The key is weaving energy conservation into teachers’ curriculum. They can use sustainability as a subject or lesson plan in core standards and other subjects. Teachers can weave energy conservation into science lessons when studying electricity and other related topics. Sue adds teachers often need to be trained on these topics—setting up training sessions with experts in the school system is beneficial.
Students: “My favorite to get involved are the students,” Sue said. “They are the most excited and can motivate teachers and the outside community.” Sue has various ideas depending on students’ age. For older age children, using energy units in the curriculum has been successful in the schools Sue has worked with. She recommends bringing in guest speakers on energy and assigning hands-on projects, such as energy audits. For elementary schools, she recommends implementing ‘Energy Police.’ This works by giving the Energy Police tickets to issue when they see something wrong, like a light left on when a classroom is empty. Students become engaged and feel empowered to write tickets. “This also creates awareness among teachers when they begin getting tickets!”
Sue has many success stories, but shared an example illustrating how involvement alone can make HUGE differences. A school’s new principal was a cheerleader for the district’s energy efforts. The principal helped train the staff and put together a student-run green team. By the next month, energy consumption had gone down 15% at that location, and continued to reduce energy by 15% or more each month consistently for a year.