However, because of the economic state and budget costs, schools all over the country have been struggling with basic maintenance and repair costs, let alone trying to justify allocating funds towards improving energy efficiency. What many people don't realize, however, is that going green and conserving energy actually helps schools save money and time in the long run. Rachel Gutter, director of the Center for Green Schools, part of the USGBC, explains, "This is something you can't afford not to do. A green school … is actually one of the only opportunities, in a moment when budgets are already stretched so thin, to be able to unearth funds that are available for the taking."
Loveland High School in Ohio saved $350,000 in one year by installing motion sensors on light fixtures and swapping out light bulbs for more energy-efficient models. Loveland was one of 26 U.S. high schools recognized as a Green Ribbon School by the Department of Education and the Center for Green Schools. In total, 78 schools—50 percent of which serve high poverty areas—were honored for their commitment to the environment.
Officials at another Green Ribbon School, Gladstone High School in Oregon, created a Green School Club, which helped save $250 per month from the school's electrical costs by conducting energy audits. Some schools even negotiate with their boards to retain a portion of the savings generated by their green teams.
- University of Connecticut
- Dickinson College
- University of California, Irvine
- University of California, Davis
- Cornell University
- Green Mountain College
- Stanford University
- Georgia Institute of Technology
- American University
- University of California, Santa Barbara