Energy powers our city – it lights, heats, and cools our homes, schools, and businesses. It fuels our vehicles. Generating energy from fossil fuels (such as oil, gas, and natural gas) releases air pollutants and greenhouse gases that contribute to climate change. The District is working toward two goals: supplying energy that is derived from more sustainable, cleaner energy sources (such as wind and solar power); and reducing overall energy use.
Sustainable DC and Clean Energy DC both commit all District buildings to reduce energy consumption. The District’s commitment to increase energy efficiency, coupled with education and awareness of a school’s energy consumption, will promote institutional changes. Instilling a culture of energy conservation will not only reduce the environmental and human health impacts associated with fossil fuel combustion but will reduce spending on energy so that funds can be used for education.
Lesson Plans: Consider utilizing one or more of the following curricular resources to teach about energy.
- Alliance to Save Energy PowerSave Lesson Bank
- National Energy Education Development Project Curriculum Resources
- Teach Engineering STEM Curriculum (filtered results for “energy” resources)
- Vermont Energy Education Program: Lessons and Resources for various learning environments
- Fun with the Sun (Grades K-2)
- “Un-Plug Me” Activity: create reminders to unplug appliances for their schools and homes (Grades 3-5)
- Make an Energy Board Game (Grades 3-5)
Middle and High School
Student Audits and Actions: Consider utilizing one or more of the following resources to encourage student action on conserving energy at your school.
- Project Learning Tree Energy Investigation (register for free download for Early Childhood and All Grades)
- School Classrooms Energy Audit (for Grades K-3)
- Eco-Schools Energy Audit
- The Green Design Lab Energy Audit (for Grades 9-12)
- US Department of Energy: Home energy audits
- Energy Patrol examples: Alabama, Arizona, Detroit, Center Green Schools
- DC Electric Vehicle Grand Prix: Student teams to build and race battery-powered electric cars (for Grades 9-12)
Celebratory Events: Consider bringing awareness to your school’s energy conservation initiatives by celebrating these national/international awareness days at your school.
Teacher Resources: Consider taking advantage of the following resources to improve energy conservation.
- DC Healthy Schools Act, subsection for Environmental Programs Office includes requirements around energy reduction and reporting
- Eco-Schools Energy pathway
- Energy Literacy alignment tool
- Alignment of Energy Literacy Principles to the Next Generation Science Standards
- National Energy Education Development Project Energy Infobooks
- Energy 101 series: wind turbine, hydropower, solar power, geothermal heat exchange, and marine and hydrokinetic energy
- Department of Energy: Educational Resources
- EPA Lesson Plans, Teacher Guides and Online Environmental Resources for Educators
School Building Data: Use these resources to help complete the energy audit questions.
- Find your school’s Energy Star score by using the DC Energy Benchmarking Tool
- DC Department of General Services (DGS): Energy Purchasing and Solar Projects: DGS manages energy at all DCPS schools
- DC Energy Benchmarking: information and data, especially relevant for charter and independent school buildings (Grades 9-12)
- Use Green Building Information Gateway to determine if your school has received any green building certifications, such as LEED certifications
Contacts: Consider reaching out to the following contacts regarding energy data.
- School Custodial Team/Building Engineer: To learn more about a school’s temperature setback policy or other measures to regulate energy usage in the school building. The building engineer or foreman should be able to provide more information.
- Department of Energy and Environment: Building Energy Performance and Benchmarking
- Department of General Services: Renewables+Energy Purchasing
Capital LEAF Links: