Zero Energy Schools Basics (Text Version)
This is the text version of the video "Zero Energy Schools."
This is the story of a school.
But not just any school—this one is special.
This one is a zero-energy school.
That means this school produces as much energy as it uses each year or more.
And the energy it does produce is renewable energy. Or, in other words, energy that comes from clean, natural sources, such as the sun or wind.
The school also uses this energy in smart and effective ways. That is to say, the school is very energy efficient.
Why is this important? Energy costs are the second highest operational expense to schools, next to staff salaries. That means if schools can spend less money on energy, they would have a lot more money for other things, like hiring more teachers or updating computers.
Let's take a closer look.
Before this school was even built, it was designed to save energy.
By using energy-efficient windows, proper insulation, and highly efficient heating and cooling systems, the building's energy bills are lowered while students and staff remain comfortable and safe.
The school also benefits from strategically placed windows, that bring daylight and natural ventilation into a space. Daylighting allows the building to take advantage of the sun's natural light, minimizing the need for electric lighting.
All of these elements together allow this school to use less energy than typical schools by 40% or more.
To provide the school with the energy it does need, solar photovoltaic, or PV, panels on the roof generate solar energy.
These systems combined create a "living laboratory" for the students, where they can learn how the building uses energy and how they can help the building save energy.
Students can also learn about the larger concept of sustainability, or how to take better care of our environment, so it stays cleaner and healthier.
So, as you can see, this isn't just any school. This is a zero-energy school, designed to save money, save resources, and show students how they can help save energy—together.