District Energy Action Plan:
Our vision to reduce GHG emissions by 45%
In the Fall of 2019, SPPS built an Energy Action Team composed of facilities staff, teacher representatives, administrators, parents, principals, Xcel Energy representatives, and a Minnesota GreenCorps Member. This team created the first draft of our Energy Action Plan, with operations and community strategies designed to achieve our overall goal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 45% by 2030.
SPPS is updating the energy action plan and engaging additional staff, students and community members in an effort to refine strategies during School Year 2022-2023. A draft of the updated strategies can be found here. Stay tuned for opportunites to give feedback on the next phase.
Teachers and Administrators
- Sign up your school to be one of first sites in SPPS to host EmPowered Schools, a sustainability education program. Overview of the program for SPPS and Sign up.
- Model energy stewardship in your classroom by following these energy saving tips.
- Enroll in Xcel Energy’s free school education kits program to receive Take Action Kits with energy saving devices.
- Model energy stewardship in the classroom by turning off lights in unused rooms, turning off computer monitors when you’re done using them, and unplugging unused chargers.
- Join your school’s environmental group! Check out what groups/organizations are available at your school.
SPPS Energy Project Highlights
- Hosted the H.E.A.T Home Energy Action Talent Contest, engaging students to think about energy use at home.
- Shared Earth Day materials to help teachers, students and parents be more sustainable at home and in the classroom.
- Created new utility dashboards for custodial staff to better understand their building energy use and tips to be more efficient.
- Documented sustainability in action for new construction and renovation projects with a case study featuring projects who participated in the Energy Design Assistance program.
- Promoted Xcel Energy’s School Kits to help teachers connect with students on energy topics.
- Turn-key Energy Audits on 3 high energy use school buildings.
- Explored solar feasibility for SPPS Buildings. Releasing request for proposals (RFP) SY22-23 for bids to install solar on up to 3 SPPS buildings.
- Promoted EV vehicles. Supporting District in applying for the Federal Clean Bus Program grant for EV School Buses.
- Ground-source geothermal heat pump system installed at Johnson Senior High School.
Case Study: Energy Design Assistance (EDA)
Larger renovation and addition projects provide a great opportunity to update not only individual equipment but also entire systems. SPPS enrolls all large projects in Xcel Energy’s Energy Design Assistance program, which is a free integrated design service that predicts energy use of the building, suggests energy-saving strategies to incorporate into the design, and estimates energy cost savings and construction rebates available for the project. Post-project site assessments help to verify rebate eligible strategies were implemented. This service ensures that all new buildings are using energy efficient equipment
Energy Action Plan
To create our Energy Action Plan, SPPS convened an Energy Action Team to identify opportunities for energy conservation, efficiency and education in the district and to create goals and strategies that addressed these issues over the course of 3 planning workshops.
The Energy Action Team also ran a student survey that received over 1,500 responses, which guided the creation of many of our goals. Thank you to the students who gave us your feedback, and thank you to the teachers and staff that made distributing the survey possible!
With the goals and strategies outlined in our workshops and with the help of Xcel Energy's Partners in Energy, the SPPS Core Team (Ally Peters (2019-2020 MN Greencorps Member), Angela Vreeland, Chelsea Moody, and Jeff Connell) created an Energy Action Plan, a comprehensive living document outlining all ongoing District-wide strategies for increased energy efficiency and conservation. The Energy Action Plan and implementation phase were approved by the Board of Education in July 2020.
What is Partners in Energy?
Partners in Energy is a collaboration between Saint Paul Public Schools and Xcel Energy that aims to set and accomplish goals surrounding increased energy efficiency and conservation through Facilities-side improvements and behavior change/community engagement.