California is preparing to invest $2.5 billion dollars in school energy retrofitting over the next 5 years, and SEI is preparing students to learn from and contribute to this state-wide initiative for climate protection and school budget relief. SEI is working with the Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD) to train high school students in energy efficiency auditing, empowering them to make a contribution both to their school community and the community of life.
Sacramento High School Energy Auditing (SMUD)
The SEI team provides a week-long intensive training program on commercial energy auditing, sustainability, climate change, energy sources and green careers, conducting a school energy audit during the course of the training. Student auditors then apply their skills by performing energy audits of schools in their district, compiling the data they have collected to develop a professional energy audit report, and presenting their recommendations for energy savings to the school board.
Students get to celebrate the impact of their work, as SMUD provides an additional subsidy to school districts to adopt the student retrofit recommendations, in addition to the standard rebates and incentives offered. SMUD is funding this program through the sale of excess permits under California's landmark cap and trade legislation - AB32. By exceeding environmental performance targets SMUD was able to generate revenue through the AB32 auctions that was then reinvested in energy efficiency, energy career skills education, and school operating cost reduction. A win-win-win for SMUD, our students, and the community!
In 2013 SEI is working with 40 students in the Sacramento region representing 13 high schools and 7 districts. Click here to see an example of a Student Energy Audit Report from the Natomas Charter District. This project was featured on The Capital Radio NPR station. Click here to hear to story.
Here is a video description of the project.
"I had a fantastic time in last week's training! I was impressed and a matter of fact surprised at how much I loved the program! I learned so much from this program I couldn't begin to explain how much it has really influenced my thinking in choosing majors for college. This program really opened my eyes up to how many things I could do for others and the environment. Before this program I knew saving energy was important, but after I knew more than I thought I would. Engineering and green careers are now playing a huge role in my options for the future."
- Christine Rinck
"I'm having a lot of fun working on all of this. I’m even considering looking into working with SMUD in the future. It's really changed my outlook on things. Thanks so much for your time this week!"
- Rochelle Hutchinson
"I must say I really enjoyed the energy auditing program and I learned a great deal of important energy saving tips to help conserve energy and reduce CO2 emissions. I also learned how to use the necessary tools to audit and this is a priceless skill because I will be able to use it to help reduce costs for myself, others and use it if I decide to carry on with this type of work. This has really influenced what I would like to uphold as a job in the future because I like to work with technology and USUALLY enjoy doing some light math work in between. The program renewed my interests in engineering and technology and the careful and considerate work that comes with it.
During the training program I was pushed out of my comfort zone several times because I am usually a shy person, but it helped strengthen my social skills even more and I learned how to work with others and their different personalities and adapt to them. Learning how to do this made everything go smoothly and helped everyone cooperate better to get the job done. It has helped me to be a little bit more confident in myself and to be able to stand up and talk in front of an audience even if I wasn’t entirely sure of myself. I hope you continue to organize and conduct the program so that other students will be able to benefit the way I did."
- Barrington Harrison (B.J.)
"I just wanted to thank you for the great training you've provided last week. I've learned a lot about energy efficiency and conservation. I was surprised to see that upgrading to more efficient features would save money in such a short period of time. I can now take that into my future and apply it to my home. My family is in the process of moving and already built a "green" home with solar and LED lighting, but I was able to convince them to put in a geothermal hybrid system and solar with our pool! I did this by doing the math and showing them the incentives, it will actually cost them less the minute the pool breaks ground, it won't take time to make up with the savings. Whatever career path I choose, this will definitely have an impact on how I approach things, especially since I want to be an engineer now."
- Robert Bender