Step 1: Look Before You Leap
Co-ops first need to determine if they have the resources to commit to the program
and should take into account the following important considerations.
- What do you want to get out of the program?
- How much of an investment are you willing to make?
- What is your budget?
- Do you have ample staff and if so, how much time can they commit to the project?
- Does this fit with other programs and incentives?
- What about schools you don't serve?
- How long do you want to participate?
- Is this an individual co-op or statewide effort?
- Do you plan on involving the community?
- Does your staff have hands-on experience with commercial energy auditing? If not, consider offering Touchstone Energy Commercial Energy Auditing training as a prerequisite.
- Do you plan to train your staff who will work with your school facility managers or do you plan to include school facility managers in your staff training?
Step 2: Get informed
- Spend some time on this website; review the program considerations, reference materials, and training information
- Talk to other co-ops that have done the training (we will put you in touch with the appropriate individuals).
- Talk to program manager Alan.Shedd@nreca.coop (770.654.0027) or training instructor Jim.Herritage@herritage.com (800.600.1275) for more details about the program.
Step 3: Schools Outreach
Meet with school decision makers (including superintendents, school administrators, maintenance directors and other key personnel) to engage them in the process and build motivation for the program. It is important that you obtain their buy-in and build a partnership with the goal of meeting program objectives. This meeting will be essential to help you determine next steps.
Step 4: Review and Download Program Materials
The Schools A+ Energy Efficiency Program provides educational materials, as well as promotional collateral to help co-ops implement the program.
- Educational Materials—Be sure to click onResources to review and download the publications that will provide you with information ranging from operating and maintaining EnergySmart Schools to building high performance schools.
- Promotional Collateral & Program Information—We have developed customizable brochures and program information pieces to help your co-op initiate the Schools A+ Energy Efficiency Program. Be sure to click on Program Materials to see what is available for you to download. Some examples are:
- PowerPoint presentation—for your meeting with schools personnel
- Leave-behind brochure—provides an overview of the program
- Workshop overview flyer for schools and Workshop overview flyer for co-ops—These flyers provide a brief outline of the Schools A+ training program.
- "Plan to Attend" mailer—a postcard for inviting key schools personnel to the training.
Step 5: Program Implementation
- Program responsibilities: Determine who is best suited for the various aspects of the program.
- Collect energy use data: Begin data information gathering, such as energy-use history (12 months), and histories for other fuels the school uses.
- Collect building data such as square footage and other building characteristics. Refer to the Resources section for a list of requirements.
- Portfolio Manager Software: Determine who will learn the software, enter the data and maintain it.
- Start benchmarking: The results will need to be compared to identify best and worst performers.
- Conduct an audit: Conduct a walk-thru audit of the facilities and prepare a report with recommendations.
- Review: Discuss findings with the school team and plan a course of action.
- Track progress of actions taken. Benchmarking is a valuable tool in your analysis.
- Revisit recommendations and actions: Saving energy and achieving financial savings should be a high priority given rising energy costs. Be sure to stay focused on program objectives.
Step 6: Program follow-up
- Improve Energy Awareness: Engage students, teachers, and staff in energy efficiency activities. Sharing results and rewarding successes boost performance.
- Share Stories: Share your findings, observations, questions, and successes with others. Click on Success Stories to see how to submit your story.
- Share stories with the community: A successful outcome is worth sharing. Communicate success stories and best practices with the community to help motivate people to take action in their own homes and business.