Schools spend about $8 billion a year on energy—more than on books and computers combined—but almost a third of that money is lost through wasted energy. That’s expensive both for your school, and for the natural world which supplies our resources. But you have the power to make your school run efficiently. Using simple tools, you’ll be able to conduct an audit of your school’s energy and water use, and put your school on the path to savings.
Remember to track your impact in kWh saved this year or just on your day of action. Either work with your facilities staff to choose a baseline energy use and see how much lower you can go, or estimate your impact by adding up the amount that was likely saved through each of your actions.
- Get an overview of how a school uses energy from the EPA .
- Look to the school’s facilities department or your local utility provider for support in conducting an energy walkthrough or a more comprehensive audit of your school.
- Consider working with a free online energy tracking program such as Energy Star Portfolio Manager  or an online audit resource like the Cool Schools Challenge .
- Encourage teachers to incorporate energy education into their lesson planning using in-depth curriculum resources from Learning Lab .
To get students involved, check out one or more of the following resources:
- Check the Green Strides  portal from the Department of Education’s Green Ribbon Schools program for updated resources from federal agencies and partners.
- U.S. Department of Energy Energy Detectives and Energy Walkabout student activities.
- The National Renewable Energy Laboratory’s energy education series  for elementary through high school classrooms.
- U.S. EPA’s Beautiful World coloring and activity book .
- The Center for Green Schools’ Powering Down Guide  for behavior-based energy saving solutions for K-12 schools.
- Delaware Valley Green Building Council’s Student Energy Conservation Toolbox  and its associated energy and lighting assessment and action guidance.
- The Alliance to Save Energy’s “Energy Hog ” resource series.
- The Energy Coalition program, PEAK Student Energy Action , which includes knowledge quizzes, student activities, and teacher resources
Did you know that buildings consume approximately 39 percent of the energy and 74 percent of the electricity produced annually in the United States, according to the U.S. Department of Energy.