TVA and KUB Partner to Give Students, Teachers Opportunity to Save Money for their Schools and Learn about Energy Efficiency
March 2, 2010
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – Eight schools in the Knoxville area are participating in a pilot program offered by the Tennessee Valley Authority and the Knoxville Utilities Board designed to save energy and money for the schools while enhancing students’ understanding of energy efficiency.
Participating schools are Adrian Burnett Elementary, Bearden High, Bearden Middle, Bonny Kate Elementary Carter High, Green Magnet Science Academy, Holston Middle and Sam E. Hill Community Center.
During the first quarter of the Green Schools pilot program, which was launched in August 2009, energy-efficiency measures implemented at the schools resulted in a combined savings of $44,601 or 452,916 kilowatt-hours.
Also participating in Green Schools pilot programs with TVA are Memphis Light, Gas & Water Division and the Johnson City Power Board. TVA and these distributors of TVA power will use the pilot results to determine the program’s potential for schools across the Tennessee Valley.
"KUB was pleased that TVA chose to pilot this program in our area. Knox
County schools have made many energy efficiency improvements over the last few years, and this program fits nicely with their other efforts,” said Susan Edwards, KUB vice president for Communications and Environmental Stewardship.
"The Green Schools program directly reaches students in a way the existing Knox County schools’ energy awareness program is not able to,” said Zane Foraker, energy manager for Knox County schools. “My department concentrates on training administrators, teachers, custodians and staff on the good behaviors that will save energy, but we are not educators and need the assistance of the Green Schools program to properly train the students. Our hope is that the students in this program will start reminding their teachers and parents to save energy."
Jolyn Newton, program manager for TVA Energy Efficiency Education and Outreach, said students have formed energy patrols to remind teachers and classmates to turn off lights, power strips, computers and other equipment when not being used. In the process, they are learning how adjusting thermostats by just one or two degrees can save money and conserve energy.
“They are turning off banks of lights in classrooms on sunny days and turning all lights off for short periods of time as part of the energy-saving measures,” Newton said. “They are learning behavioral changes that will carry into their adult lives at home and at work. It’s amazing to see the enthusiasm the students are expressing for this hands-on learning project.”
KUB and TVA say the program also helps students become more aware of the link between energy efficiency and the environment.
The Green Schools program is offered by the national Alliance to Save Energy, based in Washington, D.C. TVA chose the Green Schools Program after researching other national programs.
Teachers in each school participated in an introductory workshop at the beginning of the school year. They learned how to help the energy patrols create customized conservation plans for their schools and ways to build school-wide energy awareness that students could carry home and into the community. Throughout the year, each school receives information on its monthly energy usage and frequent visits by local project leaders from the Alliance to Save Energy. School teams came together again for a midyear planning meeting in January and will participate in a celebration at the end of the school year.
At the midyear meetings, students offered a variety of presentations on their efforts. Some wrote and sang songs encouraging energy-efficient behavior. Others conducted interviews for school TV channels, compiled audit reports, created science fair-style projects or designed energy-conservation PowerPoint presentations. Representatives from the Alliance to Save Energy, KUB and TVA participated.
Schools across the nation have realized energy cost savings of 5 percent to 15 percent from their participation in the Green Schools program. Participating schools receive a small stipend to compensate staffers for their time planning the program. More information about Green Schools is available at http://ase.org/section/program/greenschl.
The Knoxville Utilities Board, a municipal utility serving Knox and parts of seven adjacent counties, provides reliable electric, gas, water and wastewater services to more than 439,000 customers.
The Tennessee Valley Authority, a corporation owned by the U.S. government, provides electricity for utility and business customers in most of Tennessee and parts of Alabama, Mississippi, Kentucky, Georgia, North Carolina and Virginia – an area of 80,000 square miles with a population of 9 million. TVA operates 29 hydroelectric dams, 11 coal-fired power plants, three nuclear plants and 11 natural gas-fired power facilities and supplies up to 36,000 megawatts of electricity, delivered over 16,000 miles of high-voltage power lines. TVA also provides flood control, navigation, land management and recreation for the Tennessee River system and works with local utilities and state and local governments to promote economic development across the region. TVA, which makes no profits and receives no taxpayer money, is funded by sales of electricity to its customers. Electricity prices in TVA’s service territory are below the national average.
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Distributor Contact: Leslye Hartsell
KUB Community Relations
TVA Contact: Mike Bradley
TVA Media Relations
Knoxville, (865) 632-6000