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EPA to schools: Cut energy costs, have more budget for education

Now that school is back in session across most of the United States, the U.S.
Written by Heather Clancy, Contributor

Now that school is back in session across most of the United States, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is challenging administrators to address energy efficiency as part of its Energy Star Challenge pledge. The agency estimates the annual cost of electricity for primary and secondary schools at $8 billion. Wouldn't it be nice if some of that money went to where it really should go: educating students and improving school curricula?

Yes, I thought you would agree.

So far, close to 2,000 schools have earned an Energy Star label for improving their energy efficiency, notably the Gresham-Barlow School District in Oregon, which cut energy use by 48 percent. That translated into 1.3 million, or 24 full-time teacher salaries. Here's a list of the participants, so you can share notes with others and so you can see whether or not your child's district is working on this problem. Council Rock in Pennsylvania, which I've blogged about before, has saved more than $4.7 million over the past four years.

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