Saving energy ignites districtwide competition

St. Vrain Valley School District has once again partnered with the Center for Resource Conservation to host the ReNew Our Schools energy conservation competition. The month long competition began February 2nd and ended on March 2nd. This year, 12 schools participated, and will be honored at a recognition ceremony on March 9th.

Making Every Day Earth Day.

The ReNew Our Schools program combines energy-measuring technology, local mentors and monetary prizes to teach kids to conserve. By implementing district-wide energy management procedures, students, teachers, administration and parents learned to consume mindfully.

Energy saving practices included turning off lights, closing windows, de-lamping areas that are over lighted and consolidating microwaves in one area.

The competition website displays graphs for each school’s cumulative energy use during the competition. Competing schools kept an eye on each other’s progress and continued to brainstorm and implement changes in their energy habits.

According to Dara Ward, Energy & Sustainability Manager for the district, “The competition not only saves energy in our schools, it creates a blueprint for continued conservation and sustainable practices that will last a lifetime.”

Renew Our Schools Winners Announced.

With the support of staff and mentors, some schools reduced energy consumption in a single month by 19%!

Elementary School Winners

  • Top Performer:  Mountain View ($20,000)
  • Runner Up: Rocky Mountain ($15,000)
  • Second Runner Up: Mead ($10,000)
  • Third Runner Up: Burlington ($1,000)

Secondary School Winners

  • Top Performer: Sunset Middle School ($20,000)
  • Top Performer: Longs Peak Middle School ($20,000)
  • Second Runner Up: Mead High School ($10,000)
  • Third Runner Up: Erie High School ($1,000)

Each school received a tool kit containing a light meter, “kill-a-watt” meter, thermometers and an eGauge that was permanently installed in each school. In addition, each school had a live link that could be accessed by participants online to view real-time electricity consumption.

Participating school received the support of local mentors who gave students tips for saving energy and specific suggestions to implement changes and motivate participants. These energy professionals included the Cadmus Group, Slaterpaull Architects, CU Boulder and Partners for a Cleaner Environment.

Home Energy Actions Get Parents Involved

The Home Energy Actions is a household pledge to conserve electricity and water in the home. With 2,000 forms completed, parents become participants in the competition by constituting a variety of energy saving habits in the household such as lowering temperatures in hot water tanks and using cold water for laundry.

“Our success in the Renew Our Schools energy conservation program was truly a team effort," said Walid Hamzi & Aaron Martenson, Sunset Middle School “Green Team” Leaders. "We reduced energy usage by 13% as a result of our committed students, staff, administration, mentors and community.”

In the past, schools have used the money earned in the competition to install solar panels and vacancy sensors, and to retrofit parking lots with LED’s.