Jill Buck is the Founder and Executive Director of the Go Green Initiative and is also the owner of Buck Consulting. Jill lives with her family in Pleasanton, California. Full Bio
By: Jill Buck
1. Energy is a significant percentage of the school budget. While we know that the energy consumed by schools does a great deal to set optimal conditions for learning, we also know that there are many instructional materials and education-related expenses schools would rather spend money on than electricity bills. Every dollar saved on energy can be applied to the classroom, and that is better for students.
2. Energy is not getting cheaper. Even if your school district gets its electricity from the least expensive sources – in some cases that will be a coal plant, in other areas that might be hydro-electric plants, it depends where you live – the fact remains that natural resources used for energy are getting more expensive to extract from the earth, process into fuel, and distribute to end users. We’re transitioning from energy that is “cheap” to energy that is “deep”, so don’t expect the cost of your school’s utilities to go down any time soon.
3. Students need to be smart energy consumers in order to succeed in the 21st century. If our schools are going to do a good job of preparing our students for the challenges they will face in their lifetimes, then we must teach them how to manage the natural resources available to them. Energy use is an important part of the high standard of living we hope our children will enjoy. Schools can role model energy conservation, energy efficiency, and smart techniques to integrate various forms of energy on campus, e.g. a mix of alternative energy and conventional energy. For a guide from the U.S. Dept. of Energy called, Guide to Financing Energy Smart Schools, click here: http://apps1.eere.energy.gov/buildings/publications/pdfs/energysmartschools/ess_financeguide_0708.pdf