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“The majority of utilities that offer school-kit programs collaborate with other organizations to design the program, the presentation, and the kits themselves and to provide them to students.”

– E Source, Utility School-Kit Programs: Best Practices and Trends

E Source recently shared best practices and trends of school-kit programs. While the National Energy Foundation (NEF) is listed as one of four utility partners that design and deliver such programs, we thought we would share our top four best practices.

1. Make school-kit programs opt-out, rather than opt-in

NEF’s program model provides learning and energy efficiency kits for every participating student. Distributing the curriculum and kits to all families increases the likelihood of installation and behavior change not only across the community, but within the utility’s customer base as well. This model is optimal because the utility provides awareness to the entire community and receives higher installation rates amongst their current customers.

2. Identify opportunities for collaboration

Our work in Michigan is a great example of identifying opportunities for collaboration amongst regional utilities and municipals. The school-kit programs span across the state of Michigan in collaboration with several investor owned and municipal utilities. These utility partnerships allow not only a larger reach with energy saving benefits to all utility stakeholders, but also supports state efficiency initiatives. This approach creates unique synergies and maximizes energy savings while addressing common challenges (i.e. overlapping territories). 

3. Track your progress

We so strongly recommend tracking progress that we developed our proprietary Registration Suite. This system integrates enrollment, shipping, data collection and reporting into one portal that gives utility sponsors real-time access to program metrics. This information allows utilities to measure the program’s impact on an ongoing basis while streamlining EM&V protocol.

4. Add gamification to school-kit programs

Gamification is an integral part of all our program curriculum and delivery, from incentives and competition to storytelling and achievement. The gamification of learning helps increase attention during presentations and deepen understanding while completing at home activities. We continually look for new ways to integrate gamification into our programs and innovate the learning experience with new gaming technologies.

Learn more about the National Energy Foundation. Learn more about school-kit programs. Connect with [email protected] to discuss NEF’s efficiency programs.

This blog post was inspired by an article titled Utility School-Kit Programs: Best Practices and Trends from E Source. © E Source, used with permission

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