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AISD Elementary Students Runners-Up in National Energy Competition

Austin, TX—As homeowners look for ways to save money on their energy bills, a team of eight fifth grade students at Bryker Woods Elementary successfully reduced energy at their homes, earning them recognition as a runner-up in the America's Home Energy Education Challenge. The team reduced energy use by 2.8 percent, which is one percent more than the savings from a major investment of installing weather stripping in a home.

Austin Energy partnered with the Bryker Woods team to provide outlet insulation templates, weather stripping, two compact fluorescent bulbs and an energy meter. One of the members who saved the most energy at home unplugged an additional refrigerator. The other team members turned off lights and electronics not in use.

America's Home Energy Education Challenge encourages teams of third through eighth grade students to work with their science teachers and local utility companies to develop energy savings plans that reduce the amount of energy used to power their homes. Each student measured energy consumption in their homes between September and November 2011 and compared it to data collected during the same three-month period the year before.

"We are very proud of our students at Bryker Woods for their smart and hard work to save energy," Meria Carstarphen, Austin ISD Superintendent, said. "This challenge is a wonderful way to inspire students to not only use their math and science skills, but also learn new ways to use energy efficiently."

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency ranks AISD second in the nation in the use of green power among K-12 school districts. Recently, the district also achieved the Austin Energy Green Building Program's five-star rating in the construction of the McCallum Arts Center.

"We remain committed to improving energy efficiency throughout the district to help create a greener community," Carstarphen said. "This year, AISD is working to reduce overall energy usage. As we move forward, we will continue to implement and expand programs that conserve energy, from retrofitting fixtures and fine tuning equipment for maximum efficiency to uprgrading facilities with centralized, management control systems."