Frequently Asked Questions

We get lots of great questions from around the country. Here’s a list of the most commonly asked Renew Our Schools questions. Still have questions? Don’t hesitate to contact us!

What is Renew Our Schools?

Renew Our Schools is an exciting 5-week energy competition for K-12 Schools. Schools earn points by completing School Energy Actions, kicking off with a School Audit and culminating in a School Energy Plan that is presented to administration. Renew Our Schools competitions are open to any school in the United States.

What schools can participate?

Any school in the United States is eligible to participate, regardless of age or size.

I represent a very large/small school. Am I still eligible?

Yes! Renew Our Schools is designed to be adopted by any size school, club, classroom, or group. Our curriculum is meant to be student led to put the kids in charge of their findings.

I am not an energy expert. Can I still lead this?

Absolutely! In fact, it will be even more fun for your students! You will get to learn and explore energy together. Our Teacher Guides will support you every step of the way. And if you need more help, reach out to our team for added guidance.

How do I join a competition?

If you are brand new to the Renew Our Schools program, head over to our home page and look for the section title “Join a Competition.” Scroll to find the competition that fits your needs and click Enroll Now.

If you’ve participated in Renew Our Schools after Spring 2023, log-in to the portal and click on the Competitions tab to find available competitions to enroll in.

After I enroll, what resources will I have access to?

Every team lead, whether that be teacher, administrator, school staff, or volunteer has access to our Teacher Guides and Lesson Plans. In addition to our curriculum materials, our portal is streamlined and easy to use – so easy we encourage students helping complete the School Energy Action forms!

What is an eGauge and why is it useful?

An eGauge is an electricity monitor that shows your school’s electricity use in real-time. Turn the lights off and immediately see a drop in electricity usage on a graph. It is a tremendous learning tool for students and a great aide for school districts to learn how to reduce their energy use. These devices are installed before STAR competitions begin, used to track energy use during the competition, and are permanent property of the school after the competition ends.

What results can a participating school expect?

In addition to winning prize dollars that schools can put towards energy efficiency upgrades or other classroom needs, schools across the country have saved thousands of dollars through energy costs. While utility bills aren’t always the direct responsibility of the school, Energy costs are often the highest budget item in a districts overall budget. Reducing energy costs frees up district funds for other important initiatives. We’ve even had some schools leverage their energy savings for an added stipend from the school district!

We encourage participating schools to save 3% in energy usage during competition. Most schools achieve this goal.

How long do I have access to the portal after competition?

You’ll have access to the portal for one full year from the time of enrollment. We encourage schools to participate annually, making this part of their regular curriculum.

Can our school participate more than once?

Absolutely! We encourage schools to participate every year, making this part of your annual curriculum.

Can more than one group/class participate in our school at a time?

Yes! You will have to work together when reviewing energy savings on your eGauge, but we have some tips and tricks. The more students involved, the greater your energy savings will likely be!

What is the time commitment of participation?

Winning schools commit 45 minutes to one (1) hour each week during the competition. But how much you put into the program is entirely up to you. You have complete control over which School Energy Actions you complete when, so you can tailor the competition to your availability.

Does Renew Our Schools meet teaching standards?

Yes! We’ve found Renew Our Schools to meet Energy standards, certain math standards, and reinforces other reading and technology standards.

Is an eGauge required for participation?

Absolutely not. While an eGauge is a very handy device and increases students understanding of energy, we understand that getting an eGauge installed may not be feasible for a variety of reasons. If you’re not able to get an eGauge installed, check out our SPARK competitions.

I am a professional in the energy field and would like to support you. How can I learn more?

We have many ways that energy professionals have supported us. From company contributions, to school sponsorships, teacher sponsorships, competitor mentorship, and teaching opportunities. Please send us an email and we can work together to find a best fit!

I'd like to sponsor a school/teacher/competition. Can I?

Yes! We offer a few ways to sponsor participation in Renew Our Schools. Please send us an email to talk further.


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