A smart, eco-friendly movement is currently underway in North Carolina, aiming to convince school boards across the state to switch to 100% renewable energy in order to free up financial resources for other necessary expenses, like teacher salaries. It’s no surprise to find out that, like much of the rest of the country, school district budgets are tight, making it difficult (if not impossible) to hire enough teachers or supply kids with the resources they need for optimal learning. The movement to introduce renewable energy as a money saver is called Repower Our Schools.
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Advocates for renewable energy in North Carolina are pointing to successful examples elsewhere in the country, like in the Chico Unified School District where a partnership with Solar City brought in 6,600 solar panels at four schools and the district office. That project is expected to offset 85% of the sites’ total energy use and could save the district $3 million in energy costs over the next 20 years. Since renewable energy sources are more cost-effective over the long term, infrastructure such as schools and administration offices are prime candidates for the switch.
Repower Our Schools, which is backed by Greenpeace, argues that using what little funds are earmarked for modernization on renewable energy projects in North Carolina can help school districts make smarter decisions about long-term budget strategies. By investing in eco-friendly technologies, mostly in the realm of solar power, schools can not only realize a significant cost savings over the years, but also greatly reduce greenhouse gas emissions, since renewable energy schools would reduce coal-fired power.
School districts often respond positively to pressure from parents, especially with a little media attention on board. That’s why Repower Our Schools is reaching out beyond North Carolina’s borders for attention, in hopes of creating a more powerful movement for awareness of the benefits of renewable energy for our children’s future.