Over a year ago when KSBA considered hosting a School Energy Summit, a dream attendance goal was set at 200 attendees, along with a realistic goal of 150. Now that the inaugural event has been held and 206 people were in attendance, plans are already in progress for the 2018 School Energy Summit.
School energy management requires involvement from many stakeholders. Board members, district administrators, faculty/staff, and vendors agree that a well thought-out process is important for success in reducing energy consumption and saving dollars. The Summit integrated those stakeholders with the end result of professional development for all.
Three general sessions were held during the Summit that featured leaders from all stakeholder groups. Senior leaders discussed current policy, industry changes and economic factors. Participant comments included such phrases as “Stellar Panel,” “Best Session,” “Best Q&A I have been in for a while,” and “Loved seeing the top executives here.”
Breakout sessions included two facility tours, an extended session on energy management basics and 12 different breakout sessions. Comments and evaluations were excellent for all sessions.
Learning objectives for the Summit included:
- Examine the energy and economic trends impacting schools;
- Showcase best practices for optimum energy efficiency impacting the bottom line;
- Examine future trends that are impacted by technological advances;
- Provide professional development for public or private, K-12 and post-secondary schools;
- Build partnerships with the school communities to support energy efficiency efforts.
Nearly half of the written evaluation comments focused on the positive aspects of the networking that occurred among energy managers, vendors and other stakeholders. The challenge now is to turn the learning and networking into day-to-day savings. As one participant said, “Can’t wait to see what you will do next year!” We can’t wait to see, either!