USGBC National Capital Region: Green Schools Challenge
The USGBC National Capital Region has teamed up with the DC Department of General Services (DGS) to help DC public school students learn about energy conservation and implement energy efficiency programs at their schools The Sprint to Savings Challenge is a five-week program during which schools compete to see which can lower their energy consumption the most.
Each school is compared to its own initial starting baseline. USGBC-NCR volunteer groups are assigned to a school and work with that school's "green team," a group of students and teachers committed to rethinking energy use in their community. Volunteers serve as mentors to provide the school with guidance and advice on building operations and energy conservation techniques. Among other things, they teach students about energy use, support student-led energy audits, and demonstrate how conserving energy is both good for the environment and fun!
Schools are able to track their performance through an online leader board, which provides a daily reading of each school's energy use. Visit the Sprint to Savings website for more information on the contest.
How you can get involved
Enthusiastic volunteers are needed to serve as mentors for the Green Schools Challenge. As a mentor, you'll work with a specific DC public school on a "green team" of fellow volunteers and students to come up with innovative ways to save energy and teach students about energy conservation.
The call for volunteers has not yet officially been published, but you can get on the "interest" list or get more information by emailing Suzi Warren.
Past Green Schools Challenges
In the spring of 2014, Langley Elementary won the first Sprint to Savings challenge by reducing its energy use by 30%, and 14 other schools successfully reduced their energy consumption by at least 5 percent.
For the most recent competition, which ran from December 1, 2014, through January 4, 2015, the bar was been moved higher as 26 schools committed to the Spring to Savings challenge of reducing their energy use by at least 10 percent. The contest period included Winter Break, and winners were recognized in five categories:
- Overall Winner - Langley Elementary: The school with greatest electricity reduction over five weeks compared to its own baseline.
- Super Saver - Langley Elementary: The school with the greatest reduction during first three weeks when school is in session.
- Winter Shutdown - Langley Elementary: The school with greatest electricity reduction during two weeks of winter break.
- Most Efficient - Payne Elementary: The most efficient school over the year.
- Creativity and Innovation - Maury Elementary: The school that demonstrated ingenuity and creativity in tackling energy conservation.