OVERVIEW

Clean energy investments in public schools can save 20% or more on annual operating costs - nearly $100 million statewide. When provided with credible, third-party technical energy assistance and financing guidance, K-12 schools can finance these qualitative improvements with no upfront costs because the savings associated with these upgrades can pay for the initial investment.

Michigans 1,483,645 registered public and charter school students in grades K-12 represent 15% of all Michiganders - and the future energy consumers of the state. 46% of these students are identified as economically disadvantaged and at-risk. 14% are likely to report dealing with asthma. Making cost-effective clean energy investments in K-12 schools can allow these students access to optimized and healthy learning environments while increasing energy literacy in the state of Michigan.

 

VISION FOR MICHIGAN K-12 SCHOOLS

Through innovative technological assistance and installation of proven energy efficient technologies and practical renewable energy systems at K-12 school facilities, the Michigan Renewable Schools Program will lead schools to a sustainable, net-zero, and carbon neutral future.

 

WHY FOCUS ON SCHOOLS?

Michigan schools operate 400M square feet of buildings and spend approximately $750 million every year on electricity and fuel costs. Readily affordable clean energy improvements could reduce school district utility costs by 20% annually saving our schools $150 million, or $90 per pupil - while reducing their environmental impact and improving the resilience of their district. In addition, school buildings are community centers for students, teachers, parents, and neighbors. In fact, during the academic year, 20% of our Michigan population is in a school building each day. As schools focus on implementing clean energy practices, students can become aware of critical energy lessons that they take home, becoming educators in their own families.

 

WHAT WE DO TO HELP

The Michigan Renewable Schools Program provides technical energy assistance and financing guidance to K-12 school representatives. Our experience and resources support K-12 facility efforts to save money, reduce operating expenses, and improve classroom environments.

News

News  |  October 30, 2018
My Solar School participants have become clean energy educators in their families and communities.
Students learning about Solar Panels
Press Release  |  November 29, 2017
Announcing the My Solar School Contest, where students drive innovation and leadership in solar investments at Michigan schools.
News  |  September 26, 2017
Given that the fastest-growing job in the U.S. between 2012 and 2016 was solar photovoltaic installer, and that 2016’s fastest growing job was wind energy technician, today’s students must be prepared to be the future leaders of our clean energy economy.
News  |  February 27, 2017
The Ecology Center and its Michigan Renewable Schools program is evaluating evidence-based connections between improved student performance and health with strategic clean energy investments in our K-12 school facilities: better lighting, ventilation, exterior building shell, etc