The DC Green Schools Challenge is designed to catalyze energy savings in DC Schools while providing educational and real-world experience to students. In its first year, the Inaugural 2014 Challenge will target the District’s 100+ public schools in an effort to reduce energy costs and mitigate the city’s contribution to climate change. The Challenge is a partnership between the US Green Building Council and the DC Government.
- Save Money. DCPS spends roughly $30 million per year on utility costs. If schools can reduce energy waste, more money may be available to spend on salaries, computers, text books and educational tools for students.
- Reduced environmental impact. Most of the energy used to power and heat DC Public Schools comes from burning dirty fossil fuels such as coal and natural gas. A drop in energy demand reduces Greenhouse gas production, air pollution, mercury in the environment and other harmful impacts.
- Create educational and leadership opportunities. The DGSC is designed to give students real-world experience and build leadership skills.
Sprint to Savings:
The Sprint to Savings makes energy conservation fun. Yes, fun! Plus, it reduces electricity costs and engages students in real-world learning activities. Its premise is simple: Schools compete against one another to reduce their electricity consumption the most over a three week period compared to a previous baseline. Each school has its own online building dashboard that shows daily electricity consumption in 15-minute intervals, energy costs, and a real time District-wide leaderboard.
Schools that do well will win real rewards from T-shirts to solar energy systems to money back that can be spent on textbooks, computers and learning materials instead of utility bills.
The Innovation Challenge empowers DCPS students to make decisions that have real and lasting impacts on their schools. Specifically, the program challenges students to decide what energy efficiency projects would benefit their school the most, develop the projects and submit them for funding. The students will be involved throughout the whole process, from the initial research to the final presentation and implementation.