Energy Efficiency Retrofits for Schools

Aging buildings and recent construction require maintenance.  This maintenance fund can be expanded to include simple energy efficient retrofits, such as:

  • Energy Efficient Hand Dryers for restrooms to reduce paper waste and custodial time
  • Switch to Green Cleaners and implement green cleaning practices to reduce chemical disposal costs. More information is available at Healthy Schools Campaign.
  • Lighting upgrades, such as T-12 to T-8 fluorescent lights, using LED and compact fluorescents where appropriate
  • Installing motion detectors for lighting or simply educate students and faculty to Turn Off Lights or use less light when a room has natural light  
  • White Roof to better control air conditioning needs (estimated to save 10-15% of cooling energy)
  • Cool Roof if you have funds to add insulation and use light color material
  • Green Roof over part of the roof will conserve water, save energy and may aid in storm water control
  • Native plantings on part of the grounds reduce mowing, conserve water, aid in storm water control
  • Planting a Garden on part of the grounds increases agricultural learning and reduces mowing
  • Reduce food waste by placing vermi-composting bins in classrooms. A grant is currently available to Will County schools.
  • Reduce paper by implementing a Virtual Back Pack to e-mail faculty and parents information
  • Recycle using AbitibiBowater's Paper Retriever Program for most of the paper or use one of many local haulers to decrease disposal costs by recycling all paper, including cardboard, and all types of containers
  • Consider installing commercial wind turbines for energy generation
  • Consider installing solar to preheat water or for energy generation
  • Consider geothermal retrofits to save on overall heating and cooling costs

There are many schools throughout the nation implementing simple to complex changes to reduce costs, improve energy efficiency, and improve the learning environment overall.  If your school has implemented any of the improvements listed or some other improvement, please let know.  If appropriate, we will publish them as examples for others to view and consider.BloomHighSchool

Just outside of Will County, is Bloom High School in Chicago Heights.  With grant funds they were able to install enough solar to power 24 classrooms, a greenhouse for fresh vegetables and a biofuel lab that powers a mini-bus used for education.  For more information click on their efforts, click on Edutopia.

There are a number of grants available for funding projects, both large and small. Consider investigating the following:   

Will County Land Use Department
Will County - Land Use Department - Resource Recovery & Energy
58 E. Clinton Street, Joliet, IL 60432

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