powerED: Students Leading the Charge for Energy Conservation

by Eric Punkay – Sustainability Analyst – Oct. 19, 2021

As part of the Energy Performance Contract (EPC) that DPS is engaged in with McKinstry, students have the opportunity to drive the behavioral changes necessary to reduce our resource consumption. The overall goals of this program are to improve comfort, increase energy efficiency and increase sustainability engagement and awareness.

Students are mentored by a powerED Champion with the assistance of staff from the Department of Sustainability and McKinstry. This year’s theme is Power Down and it is all about eliminating unnecessary electricity use. Students will perform classroom energy audits to identify electricity waste and encourage staff to be better stewards of our resources and environment.

There are 27 DPS buildings, encompassing 34 school programs, where powerED is active (school programs in bold need a Champion)

  • Abraham Lincoln HS

    One of the solar arrays in DPS

  • Ashley ES
  • Beach Court ES
  • Bear Valley International School
  • Castro ES
  • Cheltenham ES
  • Compass Academy MS
  • Cole Arts and Science Academy
  • Denver Language School (Gilpin)
  • Denver School of the Arts
  • Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Early College MS
  • Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Early College HS
  • Downtown Denver Expeditionary
  • Eagleton ES
  • East HS
  • Emily Griffith HS
    Wind turbines generating electricity

    Wind Turbines. Credit: Wikimedia Commons Z22

  • Garden Place Academy
  • Hallett Academy
  • International Academy of Denver at Harrington
  • Joe Shoemaker
  • Lake MS
  • McAuliffe Manual MS
  • Manual HS
  • Marrama ES
  • Maxwell ES
  • North HS
  • Oakland ES
  • Odyssey School of Denver
  • Respect Academy HS
  • Schmitt ES
  • STRIVE Prep – Lake
  • Valverde ES
  • West MS
  • West HS

If you would like to become a Champion for your school and engage your students in making change, please contact Eric Punkay. To see how each of these schools is doing, go to the people.power.planet website and enter Denver for the district name.

Even if you are not in one of the powerED schools, you can still help to reduce our electricity use by powering down and unplugging equipment that is not in use, turning off lights that aren’t needed and encouraging those around you to do the same. Even sleeping computers are using energy and while an individual computer doesn’t use much, multiply that by the tens of thousands of computers we have in the district and we start to see significant electricity use, thousands of kiloWatt hours a month.