Chattanooga, TN (May 16, 2022) – Rossville Middle School has been awarded a $100,000 School Uplift grant from TVA and EPB, the school’s local power company. TVA School Uplift is a 12-month behavior-based energy management training program developed with the State of Tennessee’s Energy Efficient Schools initiative that helps public school districts make smart energy choices that improve the classroom learning environment and save money through decreased energy use.
“School Uplift is a free energy management program that leads to significant energy and cost savings to schools,” said John Watts, EPB Energy Pro. “Participating schools receive free consultation and coaching on how to operate buildings with a focus on energy efficiency, as well as information and tools to engage faculty and students in energy efficiency practices and conservation.”
Tight budgets and aging buildings leave many schools facing a difficult decision between funding learning programs and making needed facility upgrades. TVA’s $7.3 million School Uplift program is helping 160 public schools in seven states solve that problem. Schools that complete the year-long program receive a $10,000 grant to fund projects that improve the learning environment and can compete and win grants worth up to $400,000 for building energy upgrades.
“School Uplift is another great example of TVA and EPB’s work to enrich our community,” said Robert Stinson, principal of Rossville Middle. “We’re so excited to have earned this $100,000 Learning Environment grant, which we will invest in needed upgrades that will improve our facility and make Rossville Middle more efficient, healthy and comfortable. That means our teachers can focus more on teaching and our students can thrive.”
“The School Uplift program is helping our entire Walker County School System learn more about what we can do to lower our energy usage, lower our power bills and extend the life of our equipment district wide,” said Ritchie Mathews, Energy Manager with Walker County Schools. “We’re excited to work with Rossville Middle to plan how we’ll use the $100,000 to get the most energy savings for the school possible and how to best share this information with our students and staff so it can be an educational opportunity for us all to learn about energy efficiency.”
Sixty schools have completed the TVA School Uplift pilot program over the past two years. Participating schools report nearly 10% in annual energy savings with no capital investment and have used the program to engage students around issues of sustainability.
“Every dollar invested in our schools helps districts allocate resources to where it matters most – educating our children – and we’re excited to bring TVA School Uplift to the communities we serve,” said Cindy Herron, vice president of TVA EnergyRight. “Helping schools save money on their energy costs and improving learning environments is an important investment in the Valley’s future. I look forward to seeing how this program makes an impact for years to come.”
TVA is recruiting public K-12 schools in their seven state service area for the next School Uplift cohort. Visit www.energyright.com/business-industry/school-uplift to learn more.
EPB serves the people of the Chattanooga area with advanced smart city infrastructure to enable world-class energy and connectivity solutions that include the most resilient smart grid power distribution system in the United States and the fastest internet in the world. EPB gained national notice when it deployed a community-wide fiber optic network accessible to all its customers and used it to launch America’s first Gig-speed internet in 2010 (beating Google Fiber by 4 years) as well as the first 10 Gig internet service available as a standard offer to all residences and businesses in 2015.
EPB also utilized the fiber optic network as the communications backbone for deploying more than 200,000 smart switches, sensors and other devices to establish the most advanced and highly automated smart grid in the nation. As a result, the U.S. Department of Energy named EPB a living laboratory for pioneering smart grid technologies. Since then, EPB has partnered with Oak Ridge National Laboratory, the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, and more than 20 other national research partners to play a critical role in more than $155 million in smart city research. EPB was also the first major power distribution utility to earn the GBCI’s PEER certification for having a highly automated, modernized electric power grid in 2015 and followed up in 2021 by re-certifying at PEER Gold.
EPB is an independent board of the City of Chattanooga which began serving customers in 1939. Visit epb.com for more information.
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