Bend La Pine Schools Compete to Reduce Energy

Bend, Ore. – The Bend La Pine School District is stepping up efforts to reduce district energy use. An 8–month competition between schools in the district kicked off January 1st . The goal of the Energy Conservation Challenge is to mobilize the entire BLPSD team — administrators/supervisors, principals, assistant principals, teachers, facilities staff, nutrition staff and all school employees – to help to improve energy efficiency through changes in operating practices.

Municipal electricity and natural gas measurements are a major component of the national energy efficiency competition in which Bend could win a $5 million award.  “Currently, average annual electricity costs for the entire district exceed $1 million, and two new schools came online this year, so it is important to address energy use across all school buildings,” states Jackie Wilson, BLPSD Sustainability Coordinator.

The 8-month energy reduction competition encourages individual schools to start looking at their energy use and taking steps to reduce it. The competition timeframe runs January – August 2016. Monthly “energy saver score cards” help schools focus on specific factors of energy use (with different point values), and aim to involve administrators, teachers and students in working together as a team. Energy efficiency education is an important component, and information will also be passed on to parents.

Mid-competition prizes for students will be awarded at end of the 2015-2016 school year in May for the top schools with the highest Score C ard points. Energy reduction measurements continue through August, and the winning school at each level (elementary, middle and high school) will receive a cash prize of $1500 presented by Karnopp Petersen LLC. Award assemblies will be held at the three winning schools in early Fall 2016.

“Bend-La Pine Schools is excited to be partnering with The Environmental Center and participating in the Bend Energy Challenge.  As part of this work, our schools are challenging each other to continue to reduce energy consumption in our everyday operations as well as continue to carry these energy saving messages to our students with hands-on experiments and experiences that they can take with them wherever they go,” states Brad Henry, Chief Operations & Financial Officer for BLPSD.

Bend’s 11th place standing is among 50 communities competing for the Georgetown University Energy Prize.