Student Engagement in EPC’s
School districts increasingly recognize the opportunity to create healthier buildings, improve resilience and lower operating costs, as well as their carbon footprint, through Energy Performance Contracts (EPCs). This is a good thing for districts, communities, and the planet. But we often find that another important opportunity is being left on the table when districts sign EPCs: Education!
EPCs can be transformative tools to enhance the learning environment and the learning experience. That’s why we’re launching a new initiative aimed at Student Engagement.
As a former educator and superintendent, I’ve focused my career on providing the highest quality leadership to assist students in reaching their greatest potential, while providing sound fiscal management and reasonable tax liability to the community. Now, as Director of Student Engagement at Energia, I will continue this mission in a new way by working directly with school district administrators, staff, and principals to extract the maximum value from their individual EPCs through the 3 C’s: Collaboration, Curriculum and Careers.
Students and staff members know their learning and working environment best. By engaging them in the EPC process, they can provide in-depth guidance through collaborative work with engineers and other professionals, while gaining hands-on learning experience from the beginning stages of project development and planning through the completion. This ensures students and staff can have a direct impact on creating a better environment for themselves, while also gaining a window into what they could do at a global level to help create a better world for all of us. Students can play a critical role giving voice to the planned improvements through school board meetings and on-site tours of planned/completed improvements. This provides students with a sense of pride and ownership, while leveraging the EPC to provide enhanced learning opportunities.
EPCs can inspire rich, real-life STEM curriculum and extra-curricular enrichment programs. EPCs provide students direct access to engineers, energy consultants, and contractors, enabling them to give feedback and participate in an on-site work-study project in environmental conservation. Whether their core interest is energy efficiency, engineering, or reducing one’s carbon footprint, EPCs provide students with a meaningful and rewarding educational experience. The rise in environmental consciousness presents a unique opportunity to engage students in bettering their schools, minds, and our planet, but it also drives more substantial results. Research shows that when students and staff are involved in energy conservation initiatives, they feel greater ownership and are therefore more apt to support changes over the long-term and adopt behaviors that drive deeper savings.
Job opportunities in sustainability fields are growing exponentially. EPCs provide students with opportunities to learn about career paths and meet professionals in these fields. Real life architects, engineers, energy professionals working right in their school can help open their eyes to a broad array of opportunities they may not have considered. Through our Student Engagement program, Energia supports career fairs and offers classroom visits from sustainability professionals to help students see opportunities to channel their interests into meaningful career opportunities.
EPCs are a proven approach to complete the improvements districts need to create healthy, resilient, operationally and cost-efficient buildings, with no out-of-pocket costs. That’s a powerful thing. But using the process to enhance the educational experience can be truly transformative in the learning experience and the lives of students and staff today and long into the future.
As Director of Student Engagement, I am here to help districts take advantage of these opportunities without putting additional pressure or time on our partners’ schedules.
Let’s work together to ensure you get the maximum value from your EPC as a learning tool.
Contact us at info@EnergiaSaves.com to learn more.