Technical Assistance Program for Schools

Training program helps school facilities become more energy efficient and save money.

The Technical Assistance Program for Schools (TAPS) assists Georgia school districts (K-12) on how to develop and implement energy management programs. Energy efficiency is the most cost effective way to reduce energy consumption, yet remains a challenge for many school districts. The TAPS initiative lays the groundwork for how school districts can:

  • Develop an energy management program
  • Obtain support from school district leadership
  • Develop a communication plan to educate the public about the initiatives

Energy Management Basics

The following resources will provide energy team members with information on terminology and technology, along with content and statistical references on energy resources and energy consumption. Understanding the main concepts of energy efficiency and conservation will give energy team members a framework with which to begin discussing management issues.

Click here to download information on Energy Management Basics.

Tool Kits and Webinars

The TAPS Energy Management Tool Kits are self-guided training modules that provide information and resources about the components of the seven-step energy management process.

  1. Make the Commitment
  2. Assess Performance and Opportunities
  3. Performance Goals
  4. Create an Energy Management Action Plan
  5. Implementation
  6. Evaluate Progress
  7. Recognition

Tool Kit 1: Make the Commitment

Establishing support from school district leadership (school board, superintendent, principal) is essential to a successful energy management program. A successful program will requires collaboration, communication, and participation among key areas of the district including facilities, information technology, faculty, staff, and students:

  • Institute a district-wide board-approved energy policy to garner support from senior administration.
  • Establish a cross-functional energy team to spearhead energy management program initiatives.
  • Develop a communications plan to raise awareness about the importance of best energy management practices throughout the school district.
  • Become an ENERGY STAR® Partner to further demonstrate your school district's commitment to energy efficiency.

Click here to download Tool Kit 1.

Tool Kit 2: Assess Performance and Opportunities

Assessing energy performance and identifying opportunities for improvement is essential to establishing a baseline of energy consumption and costs. This information provides a starting point with which to monitor and measure progress with energy efficiency efforts:

  • Gather and track energy consumption and costs.
  • Establish a baseline of consumption and costs.
  • Benchmark energy performance between facilities.
  • Analyze energy use patterns and trends.
  • Perform technical assessments and audits.

Click here to download Tool Kit 2.

Tool Kit 3: Performance Goals

Energy performance goals establish long-term energy consumption reduction targets and help focus current and planned Energy Management Program initiatives. Goals should be:

  • Specific and easily understandable for district stakeholders and identifies desired results and actions to attain those results.
  • Measurable, including a method for measuring success and progress, and how improved energy performance will be verified.
  • Achievable and realistic, given the school district's current administrative and budgetary priorities, as well as the resources available through the district's cross-functional energy team.
  • Relevant and supports the school district's mission and vision.
  • Specific and reasonable time frames to achieve the goal.

Click here to download Tool Kit 3.

Tool Kit 4: Create an Energy Management Action Plan

The plan defines the specific technical steps, targets, and responsibilities needed to realize established goals. The plan should:

  • Assure continual improvement and year-over-year results.
  • Identify specific actions to achieve for each energy performance goal.
  • Establish a systematic process to implement energy performance measures and create accountability.

Click here to download Tool Kit 4.

Tool Kit 5: Implementation

Once the school district's energy management action plan has been developed, the school district energy manager and energy team must take proactive measures to implement the plan based on the district's energy performance goals and objectives outlined in the plan. Successful implementation of the energy management action plan includes five key components:

  • Communicating the newly developed action plan to key stakeholders.
  • Raising awareness of the plan through demonstrations of cost and energy savings realized from best energy management practices.
  • Building knowledge about the plan throughout the school district with training and use of resources provided by TAPS and other organizations.
  • Motivating the district to follow the action plan.
  • Tracking and monitoring how the district is meeting its energy performance goal through objectives defined in the action plan.

Click here to download Tool Kit 5.

Tool Kit 6: Evaluate Progress

Periodic evaluation of your school district’s Energy Management Program and Energy Management Action Plan will keep the Energy Team informed as to progress made on established goals, such as reductions in energy consumption and the energy performance opportunities implemented.

The information in this tool kit will help identify any efficiency measures that need to be modified or added to the program and plan.

Click here to download Tool Kit 6.

Tool Kit 7: Recognition

District-level and school-level energy teams are encouraged to establish internal recognition opportunities as a means to help the district take ownership of its energy management program.

External recognition opportunities from state and national programs, nonprofit organizations, and other third-party organizations further validate the school district's energy management initiatives and strengthen the district's position as an exemplary steward of the community it serves.

The information in this tool kit will help school districts identify and develop ways to recognize teams for their hard work.

Click here to download Tool Kit 7.

Energy Resources

ENERGY STAR® Portfolio Manager
ENERGY STAR® Portfolio Manager is an Energy Management Training System that demonstrates how to benchmark, manage, invest, and verify building performance.

National Energy Education Development Project
Provides a network of students, educators, business, government, and community leaders that have designed and delivered objective, multi-sided energy education programs.

ENERGY STAR® is a joint program of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Department of Energy that promotes cost savings through the use of energy-saving products and practices.

Find out more about how ENERGY STAR® can help your school or school district enhance its energy management program. These resources can also help:

  • The ENERGY STAR® Guidelines for Energy Management is a proven seven-step strategy that empowers organizations to take ownership of their energy efficiency programs and improve energy and financial performance.
  • School districts are encouraged to take the ENERGY STAR® Challenge and become an ENERGY STAR® Partner. This gives districts the opportunity to leverage the program's resources toward promoting and enhancing their energy efficiency initiatives.
  • ENERGY STAR® also provides many opportunities for schools and school districts to be recognized for outstanding energy management performance. Apply for an ENERGY STAR® award and showcase your school district's commitment to its students and the environment.