Energy Efficiency Means More Money for Schools
As the green movement continues to gain ground, students, faculty, and alums want to claim a school with excellent eco-credentials. But schools that go green receive a benefit beyond bragging rights: they can save money. According to the EPA, schools in the U.S. spend around $6 billion annually on energy bills, which is more than the combined costs of textbooks and computers. So switching to energy-efficient light bulbs, turning off lights and computers when they're not in use, and updating heating and cooling systems benefits the environment and the bottom line. Schools in the EPA's Energy Star program use 30 to 40 percent less energy than the average educational facility. Oregon's Gresham-Barlow school district managed to save over $1.3 million with the program. With many school districts facing funding cuts, $1.3 million in savings goes a long way--it's roughly the equivalent to the fulltime salaries for 24 teachers.