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Article - May 2001
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Erika Heatherly
www.dukesolutions.com


DukeSolutions will unveil a strategy to help school districts in the United States and Canada improve education through more energy-efficient school buildings and on-line delivery of curriculum and tools to teachers and students.

Reliable Controls DukeSolutions is partnering with Destination Conservation to serve schools and communities through EnergySmart Schools, (http://www.eren.doe.gov/energysmartschools/ link no longer works)  a campaign of Rebuild America and the U.S. Department of Energy that targets the K-12 sector.  See http://www.yext.com/autorepair/articles/all-about-energy-smart-schools.html for alternate informative resources on being energy smart in schools.

A report released in June by the U.S. Department of Education, Condition of America's Public School Facilities: 1999, estimates that $127 billion is needed to fix America's school buildings. The January 2001 issue of Buildings magazine estimates that 60,000 U.S. schools are in dire need of repair (estimated repairs of $2.2 million per school).

During the launch of www.dcplanet.org, DukeSolutions will roll out its Better Schools Partnership, a North American strategy that includes teaming with Destination Conservation, an energy and environmental education program already in place in Canada and the western United States. Destination Conservation, in turn, has a strategic alliance with the U.S. Department of Energy's Rebuild America program which strives to empower communities to save money, create jobs, reduce energy waste and protect the environment by investing in energy-efficient buildings.

"Communities across the country are struggling to address critical needs to renovate existing schools and build new ones," said Keith Butler, chief operating officer of DukeSolutions. "And it's well known that an improved learning environment substantially helps students perform better at school. Duke Energy is delighted to help America's schools rebuild their infrastructure and build up their students."

DukeSolutions uses long-term energy services agreements to help school districts fund and upgrade school facilities without dipping into already tight budgets and scarce resources. DukeSolutions identifies and manages improvements such as new and better lighting, modern automation controls for improved energy efficiencies and the redesign of heating and ventilation systems. The energy savings are then used to help schools fund building school renewal.

The advantages of participation extend beyond energy infrastructure and into the classroom. In addition to standard lighting, water conservation, controls and HVAC measures, DukeSolutions offers an environmental awareness program that provides teachers, custodial staff and students with curricula and other resources to help them monitor and measure energy savings.

Energy efficiency and conservation are prescribed parts of the science curriculum in most school districts in the United States and Canada. DukeSolutions provides the energy efficiency lesson plans to students through its partnership with Destination Conversation. Monitoring the work creates real-life learning opportunities for students, while the communication and orientation sessions help ensure that custodial staff and operators fully understand the new equipment, allowing it to run and perform at maximum efficiency.

Because many lesson plans are now delivered on line, DukeSolutions provides classrooms with a stand-alone browser or "Internet appliance." The Internet appliance is more cost-efficient than personal computers and provides access to the educational resources of the Internet in addition to the on-line energy efficiency lessons.

Destination Conservation is a multiyear program designed for school districts to improve energy use, water consumption and waste management practices. It's a practical, student-driven activity-based program that increases personal awareness. The Tomorrow Foundation, a not-for-profit environmental organization based in Edmonton, Alberta, created Destination Conservation.

Separately, DukeSolutions and Destination Conservation represent energy projects and curriculum initiatives at more than 4,700 schools across North America.

DukeSolutions is a wholly owned subsidiary of Duke Energy that applies proven energy initiatives to solve complex business and operations issues for industrial, commercial and institutional customers. DukeSolutions integrates expertise available throughout the Duke Energy enterprise to bring additional value from operations and maintenance (Duke Engineering & Services) and trading (Duke Energy Merchants) to create energy solutions that reduce costs, lower risk and improve energy efficiency.


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