Green Schools Recap: Efficiency Resources for Rural K-12 Schools

By Better Buildings Beat Team on May 28, 2020

At the 2020 Green Schools Conference and Expo, DOE’s Better Buildings team hosted a panel with Challenge partner Poudre School District and a representative from the State of Tennessee’s Energy Efficiency Schools Initiative to share resources and successes about energy efficiency in rural K-12 schools. Such schools represent around one-third of all public schools in the U.S. In addition to the typical operational barriers of any school, rural districts are often geographically large and remote, where technical assistance and financial incentives can be less accessible than in urban centers.

Integrating energy efficiency into rural K-12 schools presents a significant opportunity for such districts to achieve energy and cost savings. Compiled below are four recent DOE resources to help expand efficiency, benchmark success, and communicate savings across rural school districts:

  • Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Resources for Rural K-12 School Energy Managers and Educators. This resource provides some best practices and resources for implementing energy efficiency in rural schools, whether you’re a state entity, local school administrator, school board, or facilities personnel. Explore examples from Better Buildings partners, specific technologies, and financial mechanisms—and learn how to create innovative programs that engage students and staff.
  • Energy Efficiency and Distributed Generation for Resilience: Withstanding Grid Outages for Less. Resilience—or your organization’s ability to maintain operations during extreme weather-related events—is more important than ever. Read this briefing to understand more about how energy efficiency and distributed generation can help your organization withstand grid outages.
  • Rural K-12 School Workforce Development and Training. This guidance document includes materials, trainings, and certification courses designed to provide building operators of rural K-12 school facilities with actionable steps to improve their energy efficiency knowledge and create comfortable, cost-saving, and energy-efficient learning environments.
  • Rural Resources for States, Local Governments, and K-12 School Districts. This webpage contains many resources and funding opportunities for rural governments and schools. For several case studies on what K-12 school districts around the country have done to improve energy efficiency, expand the “Better Buildings Challenge” section and scroll down to “K-12 School Districts.”

Learn more about energy efficiency and renewable energy in small and rural K-12 schools through this Better Buildings on-demand webinar.