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

February 04, 2002

DOE Releases Design Guidelines for Energy Efficient School

DOE released last week the first of seven volumes of design guidelines for energy-efficient schools, providing the detailed information needed for schools to save millions of dollars in energy costs. U.S. schools for kindergarten through the twelfth grade spend a total of about $6 billion on energy each year, a quarter of which could be saved through energy efficiency. In addition, a number of recent studies show that students learn better in comfortable classrooms that make use of natural sunlight.

The new design guidelines cover a wide range of technologies for schools in hot and dry climates, and also include numerous case studies. The remaining six volumes will cover the other U.S. climate zones and will be released by this summer. DOE aims to help school districts achieve energy savings as they renovate old schools or build new ones — U.S. school districts are expected to spend $79 billion on such projects over the next three years. See the DOE press release.

The design guidelines are a product of EnergySmart Schools, a part of DOE's Rebuild America Program. See the EnergySmart Schools Web site, including a link to the new design guidelines, on EREN.