Increasing the energy efficiency of Oregon’s schools through lighting improvements, weatherization and heating system upgrades can have positive effects on teaching and learning, and also helps save on energy costs. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, up to 30 percent of a district’s total energy use is used inefficiently and unnecessarily. School districts that use energy more efficiently can redirect their savings to where it’s needed most—in the classroom.
School districts across Oregon are taking advantage of resources available to help them enhance their classrooms and facilities.
Klamath County School District
Students at Brixner Jr. High in the Klamath County School District are getting a better look at their class work thanks to a schoolwide lighting upgrade that replaced outdated, inefficient lights with energy-efficient lights that consume less power and light the space properly. Brixner is one of three schools in the district, including Chiloquin Elementary, Chiloquin, Ore., and Lost River Jr./Sr. High School, Merrill, Ore., to undergo a comprehensive lighting renovation. Together, the projects are expected to save more than $49,000 in annual utility costs. The district qualified for Energy Trust cash incentives of $129,180, and received long-term, low interest rate loans from the Oregon Department of Energy’s State Energy Loan Program. Read more about the district’s lighting projects.
Energy Trust is working with the Oregon Department of Energy to reach out to at least 30 school districts in 2012 in support of Governor Kitzhaber’s Cool Schools initiative. Outreach started in the spring and will continue throughout the rest of the year. So far, Energy Trust is working with 10 school districts across the state to identify potential energy-efficiency savings of 1 million kilowatt hours of electricity and 100,000 therms of natural gas.