- FCPS ENERGY STAR
- FCPS Energy Management Program
- FCPS ENERGY STAR Certified Schools
- Greenhouse Gas Inventory Reports
Washington Post - Fairfax Joins Other Large School Systems in Environmental Alliance
Traditional incandescent bulbs use 75% more energy than compact fluorescent bulbs [?]
FCPS Battle of the Buildings Spring 2018
Why should we participate?
FCPS spends over $30 million a year on utility bills. Energy conservation not only provides financial savings, but also reduces greenhouse gas emissions and provides educational opportunities for students and staff. Giving students the opportunity to learn about and engage in energy auditing and conservation practices contributes to the FCPS goal of graduating environmental stewards. This is a great way to work on the Energy Eco-School pathway, which is required to earn a Green Flag. Plus, there will be prizes!
How much energy does my school use?
Wondering how much energy your school uses? Find your school on the Utilities Dashboard (under the “Dashboards tab” above) to see how much of each commodity your school uses – and how much your usage costs. Wondering what is using all that energy in your school? In most school’s heating and cooling are the main culprits – but things like lighting and office equipment use a fair amount and can easily be turned off or unplugged to help shrink your school’s energy consumption.
What do we do?
Competing in the Battle of the Buildings can be as simple or in-depth as you want. Here are some ideas for ways you can engage your school in energy conservation:
Tell your school community about the Battle of the Buildings. In the Get2Green's Energy Resource Folder, you can find sample weekly announcements, sample social media posts, a newsletter announcement, letter to staff, and more. Feel free to edit these templates to suit your needs. Having your whole community on board is the first step in successfully tackling energy waste.
Conduct an Energy Audit. An energy audit will help you understand your school’s energy use and where you could save energy. You can use the Eco-Schools Energy Audit, the Project Learning Tree Energy Investigation, or create your own.
This is a great opportunity to complete the Eco-Schools Energy pathway, which is required for schools applying for a Green Flag.
Note: You can audit a sample of classrooms rather than auditing every single classroom in your school. You are welcome to audit every classroom, but this may be prohibitively time-consuming work in large schools. You could also have each class or teacher lead an audit of their room.
Create an Action Plan. You have the data from your audit, but how can you use it to reduce your school’s energy usage? Creating an action plan will help you lay out the work you will do to reduce your school’s energy consumption. This step is required for addressing the Energy Pathway, but it is also useful if you are just trying to reduce energy consumption for the competition. The Eco-Schools website has more information and an action plan template.
Vanquish energy vampires. Use your set of Kill-A-Watt meters to find electronics that use a lot of energy when they are plugged in, even when they are not turned on. There are resources in the Resource Folder to help you use your Kill-A-Watt meters.
Post reminders to conserve energy. Having reminders near light switches and electronics will help people remember to turn off and unplug devices. Students can create their own reminder posters, flyers, note cards, or social media graphics. There are also graphics from the ENERGY STAR program available in the Resource Folder.
Winners and Prizes
There will be 5 different schools declared winners based on three different criteria:
3 schools with greatest percentage reduction in electricity use
1 school with most creative communication campaign (must complete additional form, more information coming after competition starts).
1 school with most comprehensive community engagement (must complete additional form, more information coming after competition starts).
Schools will not be eligible to win in more than one category. If your school applies for the communications or community engagement award and ends the competition in the top 3 for electricity reduction, you will be recognized for your achievement in cutting energy use.
What are the prizes?
Each school winner will receive a water bottle filling station. And of course, bragging rights come with your prize.
Who won last year?
Last year’s competition had seven winners.
Top 3 Energy-Saving Schools
Hunters Woods ES – 25.9%
Creative Communications Campaign:
Olde Creek ES and Rolling Valley ES
Greatest Community Engagement:
Centreville ES and Franklin Sherman ES
Once you have the support of your school community (principal, building supervisor, etc.), register here for Battle of the Buildings. The deadline to register is January 31, 2018. You must be a FCPS employee to register your school.
Please note, if your school is not registered for the Energy Battle, you will not be eligible for prizes regardless of your energy savings.
Schools that register for the 2018 competition that did not participate in the 2017 competition will receive a set of 5 Kill-A-Watt meters. (All the competing 2017 schools received a set after registering last year. Unfortunately, lost sets cannot be replaced.)
Check out the Energy Resource Folder for resources on communicating about Battle of the Buildings, energy auditing, using Kill-A-Watt meters, an energy conservation PBL, and more.
Registered and want to share? Have a great energy-saving tip or photo of conservation in action? Want to support those competing? Tweet using #FCPSEnergyBattle! Have writer’s block? Find sample tweets and other communications materials in the Resource Folder.
Have questions? Contact firstname.lastname@example.org.