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Energy Education Programs Receive an A+ in Behavioral Influences

Posted by Allison Sparrow

AM Conservation Group and Illume Share White Paper Examining School-Based Efficiency Programs

To utilities, children are more than just the future; they’re also influencers of the present. AM Conservation Group, the nation’s leader in energy and water solutions, and the research team at Illume Advising, released a white paper examining school-based energy programs sponsored by electric, natural gas and water utilities.

The white paper, entitled, “School-Based Energy Education Programs: Goals, Challenges, and Opportunities” studied the influences of active K-12 efficiency programs on faculty, students and their families. The study found overwhelming support of the school curriculum and take-home kit benefits. Among some of the key advantages, the white paper determined:

  • School-based programs reach a diverse population of teachers, families and students in 21 active states across the country and introduce efficiency to new populations, new markets and serve as a gateway to future conservation participation
  • School-based programs create credibility on efficiency efforts, help families save energy and money on utility bills and promote student understanding of energy safety
  • School-based programs improve utility customer satisfaction, boost brand recognition and raise awareness of energy efficiency among constituents

“Our programs differentiate themselves with the highest quality of conservation products and a variety of delivery options that are capable of working with any school curriculum,” said Todd Recknagel, CEO of AM Conservation Group. “In-school programs continue to be an outstanding way for utilities to reach their constituents in a positive manner. Students develop conservation habits at a young age, parents save money and energy and utilities relish in higher customer satisfaction scores and achieving their program energy efficiency goals.”

One of the unique highlights of the school programs are the customized conservation take-home kits each student and teacher shares with their family. These kits include an assortment of the highest ROI devices to conserve energy and water. The CFL bulb, for example, proved to be very well received with over 80 percent installation rate. While the majority of the programs are designed for long-term results, the kits have shown energy and water use reduction almost immediately.

“K-12 kits offer an excellent opportunity to educate families on the benefits of saving energy in the home,” said Anne Dougherty, Co-Founder of Illume.  The white paper cites many resources that explain the great opportunity to change students’ and families’ energy use through curriculum and take-home kits. Education is often the first step in changing a person’s behavior, and according to the white paper, these practices can be augmented by incorporating even more behavioral elements into the education programs.