KiloWatch Program Charges School Systems with Energy Efficiency

What is one of the biggest expenses in our nation’s schools today? You might think it’s staff salaries and benefits, or programs, books and supplies. Here’s a clue: It’s an expense that could be reduced without sacrificing educational quality. In fact, there’s a way that reducing this top expense could even augment learning.

The answer is utilities, and the solution is a more energy-efficient school. It has been reported that schools and university facilities are the third biggest energy user of all commercial building types. An even more staggering statistic:

School systems in the United States spend more than $6 billion/year on energy – more than they spend on computers and textbooks combined.*
— www.eia.gov

How do we turn the tide of energy use toward real change? Enter KiloWatch.

This turnkey program allows a designated program ambassador and their students to better understand how their school building(s)–and more importantly, how the people within those building(s)–use energy. This energy-management approach gets many key staff involved and then also integrates inquiry-based science, math and language arts to provide students with a real-world learning experience. Even better, the program is tied to state and national learning standards.

KiloWatch is currently in place in the Syracuse City School District and has already had a lasting impact on simple behaviors like turning classroom lights off to allowing students to present monthly reports on possible areas of improvement. The program uses professional auditing equipment to help students learn directly about technologies and best practices through conducting experiments and continual energy audits of their buildings.

Perhaps one of the biggest strengths of the program is that all of the knowledge teachers and students alike learn at school, they also bring home with them, spreading the long-term benefits of energy efficiency in the home and beyond. If you’re an educator or administrator, this is the perfect time of year to start thinking of implementing KiloWatch into your 2015/2016 curriculum.

To request more information and a consultation, contact Energy Training Solutions at 315-655-3507 or trogers@energytrainers.net

ETS Launches San Francisco Housing Authority Program

An innovative partnership between ETS, Ameresco, and  San Francisco Environment (SFE) is bringing energy education to residents of the SFHA.  Building on past cooperation, former members of the SFE Environment Now program will be working with ETS to deliver resident energy education along with equipment inspections.  Working as part of Ameresco’s $30 million energy performance contract with SFHA, these services will provide residents with information on how to use energy and water more efficiently in their apartments.  A series of education sessions will kick off this month.

SF Environment works to grow the green economy, while ensuring that San Francisco residents have the skills to access jobs in that economy. Environment Now is a green job training program that helps prepare workers for jobs in the green industry.  The team is comprised of San Franciscans from diverse backgrounds with a broad range of experiences and skills, all sharing a passion for protecting the environment.

After working for two years in this program, we are pleased to welcome DeWayne Scurry and Liu Cai to the ETS team.  In addition to providing education for residents, they will be inspecting equipment installed as part of the Ameresco project to  ensure that it is effectively saving energy and water.

ETS Implements Sustainability Training in Partnership with SEIU and Crouse Hospital

In November, Environmental Services (EVS) workers at Crouse Hospital in Syracuse, NY began a journey to green this busy, regional hospital.  It starts with a series of classes on ways to integrate sustainability practices into daily routines.  The training is part of a labor and management approach to greening the hospital so that the workplace practices are greener, water and energy use are reduced, and waste streams are minimized.

Not only is ETS training EVS workers as part of the Healthcare Career Advancement Program (H-CAP), but starting in January we will be training workers to be trainers for their peers.  We are proud to be a part of this groundbreaking effort at Crouse Hospital along with our partners, the 1199 SEIU Training and Upgrading Fund.

Background:  The healthcare sector spends more than $8.3 billion on energy each year and hospitals are among the top ten water users in their communities. At the same time, healthcare facilities use a range of toxic chemicals—from cleaning products to chemotherapy drugs—and produce 1,000’s of tons of solid and medical waste each year.  Some studies have documented the negative effects of low level exposure to chemicals found in hospitals on infants, children, and workers.

H-CAP is a national partnership of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) locals and healthcare employers. While working with unions and their employer partners to meet personnel needs in demand occupations, H-CAP is building a national collaboration of employers, unions, and educators for innovation and quality in healthcare career education. H-CAP is working to transform healthcare professional education so it better meets the need for quality care and personnel in a rapidly changing industry.