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K-12 School Districts

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K-12 school districts spend nearly $8 billion annually on energy costs, the second largest expense after teacher salaries. Aging facilities combined with limited school budgets result in deferred maintenance of facilities with an estimated $270 billion needed for infrastructure repairs.

Check out DOE's Teaming Partner List for Schools

Find Financing for Your Energy Efficiency Projects

Learn about hot topics from the experts

2023 Better Buildings Progress Report

To date, 900+ Better Buildings, Better Plants partners have saved more than 3.1 quadrillion Btu, saving more than $18.5 billion and 189 million metric tons of CO2.

Meet Our Goal Achievers

Better Buildings Goal Achievers are leaders in energy efficiency and stand as an example for their peers. Meet the partners who have met their commitments to reduce portfolio-wide energy use by 20% - 25% in 10 years or less.

Watch Recorded Webinars

Watch all previously recorded webinars in the On-Demand Webinars library sorted by popular topics such as resilience, zero energy buildings, and more.

Other Resources


EE + RE = ZE: Zero Energy Buildings for Schools 2017 Better Buildings Summit, Presentation

This session covered funding options, design and road mapping, and communication strategies implemented by Better Buildings partner school districts.

K-12 School Districts Meet-Up: Energy Smart Schools 2017 Better Buildings Summit, Presentation

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.

K-12 Cohort Call: Transportation Fleet Conversion Presentation

This conversation explored alternative fuel school bus conversion and potential funding sources for school bus fleet conversions. Experts highlighted available programs and case studies from K-12 school districts around the nation. 

Spotlight on Energy Efficiency Funding Models for School Facilities 2018 Better Buildings Summit, Presentation

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).

Education (Higher Ed and K-12) Meet-Up Part 1 and 2 2018 Better Buildings Summit, Presentation

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.


Back to School: Including Energy Efficiency in K-12 Classrooms Webinar

In this webinar attendees learned how school districts are managing energy costs, maintaining healthy environments, and meeting STEM academic requirements.

Lab Partners: How to Leverage DOE National Laboratories Webinar

This webinar highlighted the National Laboratories and how your organization can work with them to enhance your energy efficiency.

Considering ESPC Webinar

This training is geared towards practitioners considering ESPC for their energy efficiency projects and includes tools for making this decision and establishing the conditions for ESPC.

Bright Idea: Lighting Toolkit for K-12 School Districts Webinar

This webinar reviewed comprehensive lighting guidance for K-12 schools along with an overview of the newest lighting technologies and strategies for classroom optimization and proficiency.

Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy in Small and Rural K-12 Schools Webinar

This webinar covered energy efficiency and renewable energy resources and strategies available to small and rural schools and showcased K-12 school districts that are successfully proving that energy efficiency provides a worthwhile ROI.

How Buildings of All Shapes and Sizes are Becoming Zero Energy Users Webinar

From affordable student housing to high-infill offices, a rapidly accelerating building trend is the proliferation of zero energy buildings. This webinar explored the financial, technological, and design process innovations that make these projects a reality.

  • DOE Schools Teaming Partner List
    This Teaming Partner List facilitates connections between school districts and industry partners willing to support schools with meeting their energy and climate goals. This list supports K-12 schools engaged in several DOE programs, including the Better Buildings Challenge and Better Climate Challenge, the Renew America’s Schools Program, the Efficient and Healthy Schools Program, and the ESPC Campaign. View the current Teaming Partner List on the Renew America’s Schools Program webpage.