This is an excerpt from EERE Network News, a weekly electronic newsletter.

August 28, 2013

Solar Classroom Update: Making Clean Energy Upgrades a Back-to-School Priority

It’s five weeks into the school year at the Central Park School for Children in Durham, North Carolina, and each and every week, the students in Aaron Sebens's fourth-grade class have successfully used solar energy to power their classroom. “We’re able to run everything we want to off of our solar electricity,” said Aaron.

Back in June, brought you Aaron’s story, an educator who inspired his students to problem-solve their way to a solar-powered classroom. One of the most important takeaways from the experience: clean energy upgrades are more within reach than many realize. “Fourth graders can understand how solar power works and that it can work for everyone,” said Aaron.

Every year, K-12 schools in the U.S. spend $6 billion on energy costs. To address high-energy expenditures, thousands of schools across the country are investing in comprehensive clean energy upgrades—from solar installations to added insulation to air sealing. Comprehensive energy upgrades for schools can provide a range of benefits—boosting efficiency, improving heating and cooling and increasing comfort. Probably the most important benefit, these investments can help schools lower energy bills and allow them to spend more money on educating students. For the complete story, see the Energy Blog.