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Schools rely on energy to create safe, comfortable, and productive learning environments.

Schools of all learning levels and sizes face unique energy challenges, including meeting the energy needs of multiple buildings, various room types, and fluctuating occupancies, all while navigating funding and budgeting realities. Discover how managing energy can support your students and staff while meeting your institution’s operational goals.

How You Benefit

  • Create comfortable and productive environments for your students and staff
  • Drive safety and security across your campus and facilities
  • Stabilize your budget by lowering operating and maintenance costs
  • Enhance your reputation as a committed sustainability leader — especially amongst student populations that are increasingly concerned about sustainability
  • Reinvest your energy savings in other school budget priorities

Key Energy Saving Opportunities

1. Resource Efficient Electrification

Decarbonizing buildings in a cold climate like New York requires a novel approach. With the help of industry-leading resources, you can plan your path toward carbon neutrality by adopting an incremental methodology and integrated design process combined with strategic capital planning.

Learn more about Resource Efficient Electrification

2. High-Efficiency Lighting Design

Energy-efficient lighting in education environments can provide a better student and staff experience and save money. In comparison to conventional lighting options, high-efficiency lighting uses less energy, costs less to operate, and can last much longer than traditional options—up to 25 years. You can also use controls and sensors to increase campus safety with reliable indoor and outdoor lighting.

Learn more about high-efficiency lighting

3. Building Envelope Upgrades

Building envelope upgrades (increasing insulation, weatherstripping windows, etc.) can be a low-cost, effective way to improve the comfort of your building. Making improvements helps to both regulate your indoor climate (temperature control, air quality, etc.) and protect students and faculty from the outdoors (drafts, condensation, etc.). These upgrades also help ensure that heating and cooling systems are performing efficiently, saving you energy and money.

Learn more about building envelope upgrades

4. Ventilation System Upgrades

Effective ventilation has been proven to drive higher student and faculty productivity. Making ventilation system upgrades can improve the comfort and air quality of your building and save money. For example, demand-controlled ventilation (DCV) systems automatically adjust your ventilation equipment to meet the needs of your building. DCV systems can reduce ventilation when classrooms and other spaces are not occupied or are at lower than peak occupancy.

Learn more about ventilation systems

5. Clean Heating and Cooling Upgrades

Clean heating and cooling technologies, such as heat pumps, make it possible to keep your students and faculty comfortable year-round, save energy, and reduce your carbon footprint. Unlike conventional HVAC systems, heat pumps draw heat from the environment and move it indoors to heat or move it outdoors to cool your building. Heat pumps also allow for zoned heating and cooling—letting you customize the temperature of different spaces.

Learn more about clean heating and cooling

P-12 Schools Programs and Resources

  • P-12 Schools Initiative - provides a variety of efficiency, clean energy, and workforce development training programs for schools across the State.

Higher Education Programs and Resources

  • Clean Green Campuses - connects higher education institutions to exclusive funding opportunities and advisory services to advance clean energy and low-carbon solutions.
  • SUNY Concierge (NYSERDA) - professional guidance to help SUNY universities prioritize energy saving goals and find program opportunities.

You Might Also Be Interested In

Transitioning to clean energy and low-carbon solutions is necessary to mitigate the effects of climate change and preserve our planet for future generations. Whether you're managing a P-12 school or higher education institution, clean energy can support your organizational goals. Consider maximizing campus energy saving strategies with additional cost-effective energy investments, including:

  • Community Heat Pumps Pilot Program: Learn how community thermal energy networks can address the heating and cooling needs of new construction projects as well as retrofits of existing buildings and campuses.
  • Electric Vehicles & Charging Stations: Converting your fleet and installing charging infrastructure can reduce costs and provide workplace charging for employees.
  • On-Site Energy Manager: Improve building performance and reduce operational costs by hiring a dedicated energy manager with cost-share assistance from NYSERDA.
  • Real Time Energy Management: Optimize your energy use with smart building technologies that work in real time to monitor performance and detect inefficiencies.
  • Renewables & Clean Technologies: Sourcing renewable energy combined with energy storage technologies can give your campus an affordable, continuous, reliable supply of energy.

For a full list of programs, visit our energy programs and incentives page.

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