Rio Rancho Public Schools (RRPS) has joined with Sandoval County and other partners to promote Energy-Efficiency Awareness Month. Public and private schools, businesses, municipal governments and communities throughout NM have been invited to look at how they use energy in every facet, from day-to-day electronics use to transportation to food production and storage to running appliances in the home.
Read the Governor's Proclamation here!
RRPS has partnered with Sandoval County, Santa Fe Public Schools, New Mexico Solar Energy Association, Albuquerque Public Schools, Albuquerque Academy and others to educate and inform the public on energy efficiency and renewable energy. Since 2008, energy plug load guidances, which show staff and students how vampire loads (also known as “phantom” loads) waste valuable energy when electronics are not in use, have been introduced at all RRPS schools. The EnerG3 Project emphasizes the need for schools, homes and communities to work together in creating a culture of wise energy use. RRPS has a robust District Environmental Resource Team (DERT) consisting of representatives from each school site, who share successes and develop strategies to actively reduce their schools’ carbon footprints and educate students in environmental and energy stewardship.
RRPS Facilities Executive Director Al Sena thanked the Governor for her support of the initiative, saying, “We are very pleased that Energy-Efficiency Awareness in New Mexico has been supported by the Governor the last six years, and that she has signed our proclamation again this year. Energy awareness is something we need to practice every day to make a positive impact in our schools, homes and communities.”
The district has already realized significant savings by instituting the Rio Rancho Every Day Energy (RREDE: Ready to Use Energy Wisely) project, which uses a checklist for classrooms and offices to manage energy use every day of the week, on weekends and on extended school breaks.
Elena Kayak, District Conservation, Energy & Environmental Educator for RRPS, states that with the right programs from our utilities and continued incentives from state and federal governments, New Mexico is poised to be the most energy-efficient state in the country and also a national leader in renewable energies. “Both of Rio Rancho’s comprehensive high schools are producing a total of 2.4 megawatts of clean, renewable energy, with a middle school now producing onsite online solar and other schools in the queue. Our fifth graders are excited about the energy-saving methods that many of them learned from the National Energy Education Foundation this academic year. NM is a state rich in scientific tradition, and scientists have repeatedly encouraged us to move to more environmentally sustainable energy production and practices.”
Teachers and parents can join this effort in January by engaging students in energy-related classroom activities and having an energy conservation discussion with family members at home. All fifth grade students in RRPS are participating in the PNM HomeWorks program, paid for by all of PNM’s customers, to introduce students and their families to energy and water conservation methods in their homes. Students are learning the practical application of tried and true strategies that produce measurable data and have tangible benefits, both for pocketbooks and for the outstanding natural environment that we enjoy in New Mexico.
Those interested in learning more about The EnerG3 Project at RRPS may contact Elena Kayak at firstname.lastname@example.org.