BOULDER, CO December 7, 2015 – Pomona High School and Campbell Elementary came out on top in the ReNew Our Schools competition in the Jefferson County School District. The two schools were among a dozen that completed an intense month-long competition to save energy in their buildings, as well as in their homes.
The 12 schools combined to save a total of 40,000 kWh of energy, enough to power 44 average homes for a month, while saving the district approximately $4,000 in just 20 school days.
ReNew Our Schools, a program of the nonprofit Center for ReSource Conservation, teaches students to identify how much energy they consume and challenges them to find creative ways to conserve.
“This is a generation of kids growing up surrounded by electronics. It’s impressive to watch them becoming aware of all the energy they’re using, take on the responsibility to conserve, and see that their conservation actions have real cost savings,” said ReNew Our School Program Coordinator Kathy Croasdale. “They’re being really great citizens in this electronic age.”
Mentored by professionals in the sustainability field, the student teams not only help shape the behaviors of the rest of their school, but bring their lessons home with them to find ways to conserve in their own houses.
Awaiting the winning schools at the end of the competition was a $20,000 first prize and $15,000 for coming in second. Pomona High School and Campbell Elementary were awarded $20,000 and Eiber Elementary and Falcon Bluffs Middle School were awarded $15,000. The prize money will be used for energy efficiency retrofits for the school buildings or on-site renewable energy. The prize money and funds for administering this competition were supplied by the Colorado Energy Office.
“The Colorado Energy Office was a proud sponsor of the ReNew Our Schools competition in Jefferson County. The level of student engagement and community involvement was impressive, which demonstrates the power of this program and its ability to affect youth to create long lasting energy awareness and measurable energy savings,” said Michael Turner, Energy Efficiency Programs Manager at the Colorado Energy Office.
Each school in the competition is equipped with an eGauge energy monitor that provides the students and staff with real-time measurements of energy use. Mentors from organizations such as Siemens, Hord Coplan Macht, the University of Colorado, Iconergy, National Renewable Energy Laboratory, XCEL, McKinstry and Group 14 helped student groups understand these tools, conduct energy audits, and reduce their energy use.
The top performing schools were able to quickly infuse conservation-minded practices into their daily routines. The most successful practices adopted during the competition included utilizing natural light whenever possible, ‘de-lamping’ over-lit spaces and turning off lights, computers, and appliances when not in use.
“During the competition, small groups of students emerged to lead their peers, teachers, and administrators in setting a new bar for conservation-minded behavior at each school. It was truly inspiring to see the impact that these students had on their communities and it was impressive to see the reductions in energy use that resulted from their actions,” said Jefferson County School District Energy Manager Hal Corin. “This program helped to build community around energy savings which is an ultimate goal of energy management at Jeffco.”
Participating schools in the elementary cohort were Campbell Elementary, Eiber Elementary, Foster Elementary, Patterson International, Secrest Elementary, and Vivian Elementary. The middle and high school cohort featured Bell Middle, Deer Creek Middle, Falcon Bluffs Middle, Bear Creek High, Lakewood High and Pomona High.
For more information about ReNew Our Schools, please visit: https://resourcecentral.org/renew-our-schools
Founded in 1976, the Center for ReSource Conservation (CRC) is a nonprofit social enterprise dedicated to putting conservation into action. Its programs serve more than 50,000 community members each year and make it easy to conserve water, energy, and materials. Learn more at resourcecentral.org