K-12 School Districts

K-12 School Districts

K-12 schools and higher education institutions spend a combined $14 billion on utility costs annually. The education sector continues to balance aging facilities with deferred maintenance challenges, rising utility costs, limited budgets, workforce retention concerns, and an increasing demand for technology in the classroom. To address these challenges, schools are focusing on resiliency preparedness, leveraging creative funding mechanisms, implementing measures to reduce plug loads, and developing workforce skills and training programs to prepare the next generation of energy professionals.

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A blog profiling Better Buildings partners as well as the ins and outs of energy savings projects.

Register for the 2019 Summit

The 2019 Better Buildings, Better Plants Summit is happening July 10-11 in Arlington, VA. Don't miss this opportunity to explore emerging technologies and share innovative strategies in energy and water efficiency alongside peers.

View the Latest Top 10 Solutions

Each month, Better Buildings recaps the 10 most-viewed solutions shared by partners. Check out the most recent list of toolkits, webinars, and other resources the first week of every month! 

Featured Solutions

This resource helps states, local school administrators, school boards, and facilities personnel supporting rural school districts make prudent decisions around the use of funds for energy efficiency improvements as a part of their master facilities management plan. 
This collection of Solutions at a Glance from the Better Buildings K-12 partners provides various unique approaches to addressing energy efficiency issues in K-12 public schools. 
This toolkit covers a wide range of guidance, case studies, specifications, and more related to lighting technologies in K-12 schools.
Camas School District developed the Resource Conservation Management Policy to identify key staff, delineate operations and maintenance protocols, and create measurement and verification procedures to meet aggressive targets to reduce consumption 20% by 2020 against a 2009 baseline for electricity, natural gas, indoor and outdoor water, and waste.
Douglas County School District implemented a multi-pronged funding approach to address its failing and inefficient maintenance of aging buildings, including an ESPC, grants, and bonds.
Portland Public Schools funded energy efficiency measures through a hybrid Energy Savings Performance Contracting model combining Recovery Zone Economic Development Bonds for smaller, owner managed projects.
Poudre School District executed a strategic communications and outreach campaign illustrating the value of infrastructure and efficiency upgrade projects.
Bullitt County Public Schools selected Mt. Washington Elementary School to undergo an upgrade to the HVAC system, lighting, and indoor air quality to reduce energy consumption and improve the learning environment for students.
River Trails School District 26 implemented an upgrade of the HVAC controls and retro-commissioned the building systems realizing a 27 percent annual energy savings and an $18,900 annual cost savings.
Vista Peak Preparatory Showcase Project
Aurora Public Schools selected Vista Peak to undergo a 14-month recommissioning of the HVAC system to maximize energy savings potential.
As part of an energy savings performance contract, Xenia Community Schools implemented an energy savings performance contract to upgrade Warner Middle School lighting and HVAC controls.
LAUSD lacked a comprehensive framework for tracking and measuring energy consumption and engaging staff, students, and the community; the District developed a suite of programs focused on health and wellness, education, recognizing partnerships, optimizing performance, improving efficiency, and sharing best practices to help achieve these goals.
Aurora Public Schools designed an incentive-based energy conservation program to promote the district's energy reduction goal of 20% by 2023. To date, the district has measured a 12% reduction as of 2017 from a 2013 baseline.

Other Resources

Fact Sheet

For more information on opportunities for K-12 school districts to participate in the Better Buildings Challenge take a look at this Overview, featuring top resources, solutions, and information on joining the partnership.

Presentations

BBC K-12 Schools presentation at the 2017 Green Schools Conference & Expo on successful strategies to energy management.
This workshop-style session enabled partners and other interested stakeholders to sharpen their tools in the areas of building energy efficiency, renewable technologies, fleet conversions, and financial mechanisms.
This session covered funding options, design and road mapping, and communication strategies implemented by Better Buildings partner school districts.
K-12 School sustainability conversations are growing beyond energy efficient buildings to include fuel-efficient school transit systems. School bus fleet conversions have been incorporated into K-12 school district sustainability plans to lower vehicle...
School facilities managers are looking for ways to streamline the implementation of clean energy technologies for high-performance schools that foster safe, healthy, and optimum learning environments. This presentation will include special presentations and group discussion for K-12 BBC Partners and other city and state stakeholders engaged in managing education campuses.
K-12 School District Peer Exchange 2016 Better Buildings Summit
K-12 district partners worked with DOE and their peers to review energy action plans, leverage peer expertise, and receive timely feedback.
State-based energy efficiency programs and legislation for school facilities enable K-12 school districts to accelerate energy efficiency upgrades and improve learning environments while saving on utility costs. Several states provide examples of state funding models that offer centralized support for financing school improvements, technical assistance, and project implementation, like the Tennessee Department of Education's Energy Efficient Schools Initiative (ESSI).
This forum helped participants address the challenges of operating 19th-century education facilities and bridging to the best practices of 21st-century smart education campuses. Starting with the basics of benchmarking buildings to advanced design and construction of zero energy schools, our presenters shared the latest methodologies, tools, and gains in creating optimal learning environments for students at all levels. This session was open to all higher education and K-12 facilities professionals as well as supporting administrators, architects, engineers, and other building professionals.

Video

Six school districts from across the country are joining our Zero Energy Schools Accelerator. The districts will work together to develop zero energy designs that are cost-competitive with traditional construction methods in schools.

Webinar

Join the Department of Energy for a webinar and peer exchange on financing for K-12 Schools.

Priorities

Meet the Sector Committee Chair