ReNew Our Schools selects a single school district for each competition. Up to twelve schools compete to reduce their energy footprint during a thirty-day period. Each school’s score in the competition is a combination of the electrical energy savings in the school, points earned in a prescriptive list of accomplishments (School Energy Actions), and points earned by community homes for pledging to change energy behavior (Home Energy Actions).
What are the prizes?
The schools are divided into up to three groups based on highest grade levels and school size. The top performer in each cohort earns up to $25,000 in energy-efficient retrofits or equipment for their building.
Summit Middle School created this video to describe their journey toward winning the ReNew Our Schools Challenge
Where does the funding for the program come from?
Since its inception in 2007, primary funding for the awards and installations has been provided by the Innovo Foundation. Additional funding for the program is being provided by All Points North Foundation, the Colorado Energy Office, the participating school district, the Center for ReSource Conservation, and our wonderful individual donors, whose support helps meet program needs and allows us to add as many new competitions as we can each year.
eGauge Energy Monitors
Thanks to a generous donation from eGauge and Magnelab, each school that competes in ReNew Our Schools receives an eGauge energy monitor that is permanently installed in the school. The eGauge shows the energy use data of the school in real time. Students and school staff can analyze their energy use during the competition and beyond. The competition website displays graphs for each school’s cumulative energy use during the competition. Competing schools can keep an eye on each other’s progress and continue to brainstorm and implement changes in their energy habits in an effort to win the big prize.
What support do schools get during the competition?
Each school in a competition receives the information and support they need to create their energy-saving plan. ReNew Our Schools staff also provide:
- Email and phone support
- Energy kits, including tools that measure light levels, temperature, and plug loads
- Sample Energy audits and checklists to determine where energy is being used in the school
- Curriculum providing helpful background knowledge
- School web pages (within the competition site) for tracking each school’s progress relative to other schools in the competition
- A checklist of energy conservation actions that are either free or low-cost for residences
- Most importantly, each school receives the support of mentors that help students succeed in the competition. These mentors, who are professionals in various energy fields, volunteer their time to assist the students with tips for saving energy and specific suggestions for each school on implementing behavior changes and motivating their school community. Mentors help make this an incredible and successful learning experience for the students.
To learn more about the competition and eligibility requirements for participation, contact ReNew Our Schools Program Manager, Kathy Croasdale.