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    OUSD emPower Energy Challenge 2014-15

    The OUSD emPower Energy Challenge is a major component of OUSD's energy sustainability initiative and one of the ways OUSD's Facilities Department is engaging students and staff in energy conservation. The playful nature of the challenge helps educate school communities on preserving resources and respecting the lived environment, while encouraging practices that reduce energy waste and increase energy efficiency. Through friendly, school-to-school competition--aimed at saving at least 5-10% electricity Districtwide--the Energy Challenge saves money, bonds students and staff around a common goal, and reduces OUSD's carbon footprint. 

    In 2014-15, OUSD school sites made major strives in terms of conservation. The battle for the top three slots in the competition was close and spirited, but, in the end, Castlemont High emerged as the winner of the 2014-2015 emPower Energy Challenge!

    1st Place, Castlemont High  

    Castlemont reduced its electricity usage by 10.2 percent, saving 81,524 kWh, even with increased utility use related to the newly opened FABLab that prepares students for careers in high-growth craft, manufacturing, and design fields. Special congratulations are due to Principal William Chavarin, Site Champions Tim Bremner and Mitch Singsheim, and all the emPower Student Interns of the Sustainable Urban Design Academy (SUDA), especially Ronye Cooper and Sandra Vivian-Calderon!  

    2nd Place, Oakland High

    Closely trailing Castlemont were the Wildcats of Oakland High who reduced electricity consumption by 7 percent, saving 78,097 kWh! Congratulations to Principal Abdel-Qawi, Site Champions Kevin Jordan and retired teacher, Katie Noonan, and all the Oakland High emPower student interns, especially Ruth Noy!

    3rd Place, Oakland Tech 

    Oakland Technical High School captured third place after reducing its electricity consumption by 4.7 percent, or 54,124 kWh from its baseline. Thanks go to Principal Staci Ross-Morrison, Site Champions Deirdre Snyder and Joe Senn, and the Green Club’s Energy Sub-Committee members.

    Combined, these three high schools saved the District $33,266 dollars, and avoided 84,002 pounds of CO2  emissions. This is equivalent to the carbon sequestration from planting 977 tree seedlings and growing them for 10 years.

    The emPower team would like to thank our partners, Energize Schools/Strategic Energy Innovations and the Alliance for Climate Education, for their invaluable support. We owe a debt of gratitude to all the competing schools for their commitment to energy conservation and to helping the District become more sustainable. Finally, we offer special appreciation to the many emPower student interns and Site Champions for their amazing work and leadership while participating in the OUSD emPower Energy Challenge. 

    More to Come!

    Stay tuned for next school year when the District will introduce the Energy Challenge 2015-16 with Shared Operational Savings – Green Revolving Fund (SOS-GRF) Program. With SOS-GRF, the more you conserve, the more money your school is eligible to receive for student sustainability projects, school-based environmental education, or enhanced learning programs. Remember,  “Together we emPower!”

    For information on joining next year’s OUSD emPower Energy Challenge 2015-2016, contact Alice Sung, OUSD High Performance Schools & emPower Program Manager at: empower@ousd.k12.ca.us