Energy and Sustainability
The Energy & Sustainability Program (ESP) aims to identify and implement energy efficiency and sustainability initiatives that benefit and educate the St. Vrain Valley School community at large. Our objective is to reduce costs, conserve our natural resources, and engage deeper with our community. Numerous staff members as well as external partners contribute to the success of this Department and the effectiveness of the ESP depends on the expertise and effort of these individuals.
Specifically, ESP will evaluate our current energy consumption levels, and, whenever possible, will suggest energy reduction initiatives that improve performance while increasing awareness and training among students, staff, and teachers. The Department partners with utilities and other providers to take advantage of grants, rebates, incentives, educational programs and training opportunities.
ESP is also responsible for facility audits, benchmarking, and establishing short, medium and long-term goals as well as ensuring that commodity purchases are efficient and in line with the mission, vision and values of the District.
ESP’s goals are segmented into four focus areas: Green Buildings, Energy & Environmental Education, Resource Conservation, and Waste & Material Flows
- Identify energy efficiency projects and technologies for facility improvements such as lighting and sensors, HVAC, building envelope, daylighting, alternative energy and more
- Implement policies and guidelines to reduce the carbon emissions and footprint at each site
- Ensure that LEED buildings are operating according to high efficiency standards
- Train staff and provide tools to improve water conservation and increase energy efficiency
- Evaluate utility grants and rebate programs to reduce retrofit costs
- Establish new construction and renovation standards that incorporate energy efficiency and sustainability practices
Energy & Environmental Education
- Educational programs include but are not limited to: waste management, water safety awareness, conservation, ecosystems, energy efficiency, recycling, composting, climate change, carbon footprint, fossil fuel history and development, renewable energy markets and innovation
- Provide classroom activities, course materials, and field trips that increase awareness surrounding energy and the environment
- Encourage creative solutions to resource conservation through diverse events and programs such as Eco-Cycle’s Green Star Schools, Green Teams, ReNew Our Schools competition and the Longmont Children’s Water Festival
- Identify emissions and idling reduction technologies and/or cleaner fuels for the District school buses in order to help improve local air quality and reduce children’s exposure to fuel exhaust
- Investigate and disseminate best practices through education and training to minimize water, electricity and fossil fuel usage
Waste & Material Flows
- Implement purchasing policies that reduce materials and offer guidance in selecting eco-friendly products
- Identify methods to reduce waste and maximize recycling and composting
- Evaluate the life-cycle costs and environmental impacts of facility operations and maintenance to improve efficiency
A Call to Action
As our schools embark on this journey towards more energy efficient and sustainable practices, we call to action all students, teachers, staff and community members to embrace the environmental steward within. Each and every one of you can make a difference in reducing energy usage, using less water, minimizing waste, recycling and composting whenever possible, and spreading eco-friendly life choices. ESP is good for people, the planet, and our bottom line, but most importantly for the health of our students and future generations.
Energy and Sustainability Department News
After four weeks of energy conservation, the winners of the 2014 ReNew Our Schools Competition have been announced. Elementary school winners include Central and Eagle Crest Elementary, while Westview Middle School won the secondary school category. Runners up include Fall River Elementary, Red Hawk Elementary and Thunder Valley K-8.
Winners will receive $20,000 to dedicate to alternative energy upgrades, and all runners up will receive $1,000 to purchase energy-related classroom materials.
The ReNew Our Schools Program is an energy conservation competition where schools compete to win $20,000 for energy retrofits for their school. Schools compete by conserving electricity in school and in homes in their community. The competition empowers students to learn real-world energy concepts, work with local energy experts and become leaders in their school community.
St. Vrain Valley School District, in partnership with the Center for ReSource Conservation, has selected the following 12 schools for the Spring 2014 ReNew Our Schools Competition.
Energy conservation at home can save a ton of money on your utility bills and reduces your carbon footprint! So take action for people, the planet, and your purse (or pocket! or profit!).
There are some great programs currently available for 50% off energy audits through EnergySmart & Longs Peak Energy Conservation. Take advantage of this opportunity for income-qualified home-owners. Offer ends December 31st, 2013 or until funds are used up.