Green Teams work to conserve energy and be good stewards of the environment by changing the culture and behavior of students and staff members. Since the inception of the program two years ago, Parkland has realized $112,000 in Energy Savings.
In 2013, 55 school districts applied to be a part of this program, but only eight
were selected with Parkland being one of them. Goals were to ensure the
operational efficiency of existing equipment, including HVAC, water coolers, and
refrigeration units and to reduce the amount of consumed electricity in all
buildings. The cohort of school districts met regularly to discuss what worked
well and to share ideas that would help improve energy efficiency. As part of the
program, PPL hired Strategic Energy Group, who worked closely with the school
districts and helped map out the Green Team Program as well as conduct energy
management assessments to hone in on a building’s strengths and weaknesses.
A pilot school was chosen to begin a Green Team at Orefield Middle School (OMS)
in 2014-15. The pilot team documented monthly meeting minutes and created a
comprehensive plan for district-wide use, as well as delegated personal team
member assignments to achieve their goals. Goals included the development of a
web site and bulletin boards that would track usage, identify areas for
improvement, and set goals for reduced consumption. At the end of that first year
at OMS, the team was proud to report savings of $15,000 in electricity
Green Teams were then formed in the other schools for 2015-16. At every
building, teachers, the head cook, custodians, and principals were involved. They
got creative by conducting surveys, poster contests that touted green methods,
and made hallway displays to get building constituents on board and excited about
the Program. School TV Studios did stories on green tips for students and staff
and conducted interviews with the Green Teams. An energy dashboard allowed all
teachers and students to daily check on consumption levels. Parkland schools
entered a contest sponsored by the Keystone Energy Efficiency Alliance and won
one of three first place awards in the State.
At the end of year two, Parkland Green Teams reported a total of $112,000 in
energy savings. Green Teams will remain a priority for Parkland as the District
looks forward to continuous improvement in energy efficiency. Another benefit
of this Program has been that students have learned to be good stewards of the
environment by studying the real-time data that teachers have daily access to.
The public can view the data too by clicking on the Energy Dashboard here.