“The Duquesne Light Community Energy Efficiency Education Program was created to inform students about how we get our power and how to be more conscious using it. We have touched upon these topics in class before, but this program provided students with a more in-depth look from the power company itself.”
—High School Senior, Central Valley High School
Pennsylvania Act 129 requires electric distribution companies in the state, including Duquesne Light Company (DLC), to develop cost effective Energy Efficiency (EE) plans that would reduce electricity consumption across their service territory. In developing an EE plan, DLC wanted to design and offer a unique program that would get students and teachers involved in learning about energy use and how they could reduce energy consumption in their own schools.
MCR worked with DLC to design and implement the Community Education Efficiency Program (CEEP), which prepares middle and high school students to become Energy Efficiency Auditors. CEEP Energy Advisors and Lead Teachers provide students training designed to help them understand energy use and develop energy conservation measures in their own school. Using their student-prepared Energy Conservation Action Plan & Report, students implement their own energy conservation awareness measures to win prizes during a three-week inter-school competition. The program provides the schools cash incentives to offset the cost to implement energy saving improvements.
The semester-long CEEP program was successfully completed at nine schools. Almost 200 students received an average of two hours of training per week for 15 weeks, resulting in 6,000 student hours of training. The students audited 285 school rooms, encompassing over 780,000 square feet. Focusing on lighting and computer loads, the students identified over 500,000 kWh in savings from simple lighting recommendations and another 2,000 kWh from computer phantom load reductions. Greater savings were identified that could be attained through HVAC and capital improvement projects.
As part of the program, students conducted a three-week campaign to encourage energy efficiency in their schools. The student-led campaigns included producing videos, hanging posters, and holding contests that challenged their fellow students and staff to reduce energy consumption. Many students engaged their family members to reduce energy use at home. In many schools, students presented information about the Student Energy Auditor training and audit results to school administrators. The administrators showed interest in continuing the student’s quest to reduce energy consumption and costs through capital improvements to school district buildings.