Energy Action Plan
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 updated the energy action plan in 2023, engaging additional staff, students and community members in an effort to refine strategies during 2022-2023. Read the new Energy Action Plan (EAP), and stay tuned for opportunities to get involved in the next phase.
Teachers and Administrators
- Sign up your school to be one of the 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 or reach out to ESG@spps.org with any ideas you have.
- Join ClimateGeneneration's Youth Environmental Activists Network, YEA! is a network for Minnesota youth action on the systems perpetuating the climate crisis. By joining the Network, you can get involved at any level you’d like to build youth power.
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 high energy use school buildings.
- Explored solar feasibility for SPPS Buildings. Tracking opportunities to fund solar and applying for new MN Solar for Schools program.
- Ground-source geothermal heat pump system was installed at Johnson Senior High School and put into service in 2023. SPPS is applying for Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) direct pay/tax credit for the project. Additional Geothermal projects are planned for Hidden River Middle and the new Bruce Vento Elementary.
- Donation and Pilot of Toro electric powered landscape equipment, to test and pilot at Battle Creek Elementary and Battle Creek Middle School for the 2023-2024 School Year.
- Promoting Clean Bus transition. The EPA has $5 billion available to schools through the Federal Clean Bus Program to transition to Clean School Buses. First Student (SPPS Bus Contractor) was awarded funding for 10 Electric Buses in January 2024 that will be used for SPPS routes! The EV buses are expected to begin operating as soon as the 25/26 school year. A third round of funding closed February 2024, and SPPS worked with First Student to apply to replace an additional 25 diesel buses. Press Release from Biden-Harris Administration.
Creating Our 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.
Indoor Air Quality Coordinator