Northern Marianas Islands Elementary Students Patrol for Energy Efficiency

March 04, 2003

Photo of children lined up in rows for a photograph.

GTC Energy Patrollers line up for photo after signing their pledge of responsibility to monitor excessive use of power and water at their school. (Credit: Edith G. Alejandro; Saipan Tribune)

Elementary students are on the prowl in the Northern Marianas Islands searching for energy and water conservation. It's part of a new program to educate youngsters and their families about the virtues of conservation and to reduce energy consumption in public schools in the Commonwealth.

Northern Marianas Islands Governor Juan N. Babauta inducted six elementary students at the Gregorio T. Camacho (GTC) Elementary School in Saipan into the GTC Energy Patrol in a ceremony on February 18th. Said Gov. Babauta at the ceremony, "Energy touches every corner of our lives and homes, and conservation means saving money for other things that the school will need."

The young energy patrollers are responsible to record uneconomical use of water and electricity during working hours. They also list the responses in the classrooms to the call to conserve.

The program is modeled after a similar energy and water conservation program in Arizona and other states. According to Commonwealth Energy Division Director Thelma B. Inos, the program will soon be expanded to all public schools in the Northern Marianas Islands. Inos says she hopes to reduce energy bills at public schools on the islands by 10% using classroom-to-classroom meter reading to determine the energy cost in each classroom.

Funding for the program comes from the U.S. Department of Energy's State Energy Program (SEP). It is administered through several Commonwealth departments, including the Public School System and the Energy Division. For more information read the Saipan Tribune article.