K-12 Initiative

The K-12 Initiative encourages schools to lower energy use and utility bills while reducing greenhouse gas emissions, the leading contributor to climate change. There are more than 6,000 public and private schools in New York State. Together they spend roughly $1 billion in annual energy costs while producing approximately 5.6 million metric tons of carbon dioxide or other harmful greenhouse gases. Working with NYSERDA, K-12 schools can lower both.

This initiative promotes clean energy efforts by educating, guiding, and assisting schools that implement clean energy projects and commit to sustainability-focused principles at their facilities and in the classroom.

NYSERDA Programs for K-12 Schools

While this initiative will provide specific funding for K-12 schools soon, NYSERDA currently has several program and initiatives that schools can take advantage of right now to help reduce their energy bills while reducing emissions.

Clean Heating and Cooling

Ground-source Heat Pump Rebate supports the installation of ground-source heat pump systems, which help lower energy costs and emissions while making schools more comfortable for students and staff.

Cleaner, Local Power Generation

NY-Sun offers performance-based incentives to install of new grid-connected solar panels that helps lower energy costs while generating clean, local power. K-12 schools are eligible under NY-Sun's small commercial program.

Combined Heat and Power (CHP) Program promotes installation of clean, efficient, and commercially-available CHP systems that lower energy costs through more efficiency. Small Wind Turbine Incentive Program provides support for installing small wind turbines on-site to generate clean, local power and lower costs.

Small Wind Turbine Incentive Program provides support for installing small wind turbines on-site to generate clean, local power and lower costs.

Clean Transportation

The New York Truck-Voucher Incentive Program accelerates the market use of advanced truck and bus technologies that lower emissions and fuel costs.

Drive Clean Rebate is open to all New York State residents and offers a point-of-sale rebate of up to $2,000 towards the purchase of a new plug-in electric car.

Energy Efficiency and Management

FlexTech Program shares the costs of technical services to help businesses and schools in New York State make smart energy decisions. A dedicated team of engineers, technology experts, and energy consultants works with customers to create a customized assessment that identifies specific opportunities for reducing energy consumption and costs.

Real Time Energy Management (RTEM) Program helps provide in-depth analysis of energy usage data on-site. RTEM suggests improvements that can lower costs and emissions.

Green Buildings

New Construction Program helps offsets the incremental capital costs of purchasing and installing equipment in buildings to reduce energy consumption. A green building bonus is offered to encourage applicants to integrate green building practices through either Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) or New York Collaborative for High Performance Schools (NY-CHPS) certification.

NYSERDA Resources for K-12 Schools

This collection of resources provides information to help your school achieve its clean energy goals. These resources include everything from understanding your school’s sustainability rating to implementing clean energy projects, as well as additional event, funding, and recognition opportunities available to schools across NYS.

Getting Started: Understanding a School’s Sustainability Rating

Before jumping into capital improvements, it’s important to understand how your energy is being used. Establishing an energy baseline will help you understand existing school energy conditions, which can then be used to manage changing school energy needs. The tools below may help schools to more easily realize and evaluate their energy usage before undergoing major changes.

Project Planning: How to Build Green and Healthy Buildings

It’s equally important to design a building to achieve high performance and a healthy environment. The tools below may help to design a school to maximize on energy efficient and sustainable systems.

Solar Energy: Is Your School Suitable for Solar?

Working with K-Solar helps you discover if the power of the sun is right for your school. Tapping into solar sets a great example for your students and the community. Visit NYPA's K-Solar page to find out more.

Financial Assistance: Help Finance Your Clean Energy Project with Non-NYSERDA Funding

Has your school recently pursued a clean energy project (e.g. boiler upgrade, LED project, VFD installation, etc.) and is looking to offset the costs utilizing a utility incentive? The links below will connect your school with your utility company.

Recognition Resources: Looking for Recognition for Your Clean Energy and Sustainability Projects?

Is your school interested in receiving recognition for your clean energy and sustainability projects?

Event Resources: Interested in participating in clean energy events?

These organizations coordinate student, teacher, and administrative sustainability leadership development programs, summits, and conferences across the State and the nation.

Classroom Resources: Powerful Tools for Teachers

Today’s students are tomorrow’s inventors and problem solvers. Inspire and educate those students about why clean energy is good for New Yorkers and the environment. Help them uncover the science and technology associated with solar energy.

Educators can use the following lessons about solar power in classrooms for grades 4-12 and other learning settings. The lessons complement K-Solar, which is a program under the NY-Sun initiative that brings solar power to schools across New York State. The lessons are grouped by suggested grade level.

Connect with Us

Submit questions and comments to commercialprograms@nyserda.ny.gov.