Energy efficiency urged for schools
Planting trees to shade buildings and keep them cool is one way schools can save money
August 25, 1999
Web posted at: 2:52 p.m. EDT (1852 GMT)
Each year, schools spend over $6 billion on energy — a figure that is greater than the cost of textbooks and computers combined, reports Washington,
D.C.-based Alliance to Save Energy. About 25 percent of that energy is wasted in inefficient facilities.
As Congress prepares to vote on legislation to help school districts build new schools and renovate existing schools, renewable energy activists are urging the lawmakers to consider adding incentives for energy efficiency to the package.
"Teachers teach and students learn best in an environment that is comfortable, healthy, naturally lit, and in good repair," the Alliance board of directors wrote in a resolution passed earlier this summer.
Some 6,000 new schools will be built over the next ten years to accommodate the growing number of students
"Studies indicate that student achievement is greater and attendance higher when these conditions are met; yet, most of our nation's schools are in need of renovation to reach this standard of comfort and efficiency."
The resolution calls on Congress to include legislation that provides incentives for energy efficiency in the design and renovation of schools as it secures funding for new school construction and renovation.
The resolution also calls on state-level government officials and offices to raise community awareness about opportunities to build energy-efficient schools and use renewable resources.
Some 6,000 new schools will be built over the next ten years to accommodate the growing number of students. In addition, many existing schools are in need of repair.
As an added bonus to saving school districts money that can be reinvested in other educational resources, energy efficiency efforts provide a valuable hands-on learning experience for students that can strengthen their math, science and communication skills, the alliance reports.
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