Department for Energy Development and Independence
Workshops provide tools for managing energy costs in Kentucky schools
The rising cost of energy and increases in energy consumption continue to challenge school district budgets across the commonwealth.
In fact, according to the Kentucky Department for Energy Development and Independence (DEDI), Kentucky’s K-12 public schools spent 108 percent more on energy during the 2007-2008 school year than in 2000-2001. Much of this increase resulted from higher energy prices and increased facility use.
In response, DEDI is funding four energy management workshops for K-12 schools in 2009. "Energy costs are increasing and energy management programs can provide real solutions and savings," said John Davies, acting director of the Division of Energy Efficiency and Conservation. "These savings can have both a positive environmental and fiscal impact on Kentucky’s schools."
The workshops will assist schools in meeting a requirement of Kentucky House Bill 2 from the 2008 legislative session, which stipulates that each board of education enroll in the Kentucky Energy Efficiency Program for Schools (KEEPS) on or before Jan. 1, 2010. These one-day workshops will provide a step-by-step systems approach for creating both district and school-level energy management programs. Attendees will receive an overview of energy management, and learn about tools and curriculum to help develop an interdisciplinary team. Separate training tracks – one for administration, operations and facilities staff; the other for curriculum specialists and teachers – will target the technical and educational aspects of developing a successful energy management program.
The workshops are distinctive in that they require staff with different roles within a school district to work towards a common goal. Kentucky educators must teach about energy because it is tested in grades four, seven and 11; administrators must address tight budgets because of rising energy costs. Four workshops are scheduled:
Feb. 24, Thomas & King Conference Center, Georgetown
Feb. 26, Cave City Convention Center, Cave City
March 5, Morehead State University, Morehead
March 6, London Community Center, London
"Whether it is curriculum or technical strategies, the workshop will give tools to both teachers and facility staff to help them meet their specific energy goals as well as the goals of the district as a whole," says Karen Reagor, state director of the Kentucky NEED (National Energy Education Development) Project.
The workshops will be facilitated by the Kentucky NEED Project in partnership with the
Kentucky Pollution Prevention Center’s Kentucky Energy Efficiency Program for Schools, the Kentucky School Plant Managers Association and Kentucky Green and Healthy Schools.
The workshop registration materials are posted online at www.energy.ky.gov/media/events.htm.