The Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) has announced $2.6 million in grants to 64 schools across the Southeast for HVAC upgrades and energy efficiency training.
These grants, provided through TVA’s School Uplift program, are expected to help schools across six states in the region save an average of 10 percent on their energy bills this year, the federally-owned electric utility says.
The grants have been awarded to seven schools in Alabama, two in Georgia, six in Kentucky, eight in Mississippi, four in North Carolina and 37 in Tennessee.
TVA notes that the grants ranged from $10,000 to $410,000 and were awarded based on the energy waste reduction score of each school and a needs-based assessment of their facilities.
“For nearly 90 years, TVA and our 153 local power company partners have worked to make a positive impact on the communities we serve, and our children are our most important asset,” said Monika Beckner, Vice President, TVA Energy Services & Programs. “Making classrooms healthier and more comfortable for both students and teachers helps give every child the opportunity to succeed.”
Launched in 2021, TVA’s School Uplift program offers energy efficiency training and grants to improve learning environments and reduce energy costs. Since its inception, TVA has invested $7.28 million in the program and helped 118 schools save on energy bills. The estimated energy savings resulting from the program’s upgrades and behavior changes equate to 26,300 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent or more than 29.5 million pounds of coal.
A total of 125 new schools have already enrolled for the 2023-2024 School Uplift program, which is set to commence this summer. In addition to School Uplift, TVA offers several other programs focused on improving outcomes for students in the region. This year, TVA awarded $1 million in STEM grants, benefiting over 136,000 students.
School districts around the nation also are investing in energy transition projects, from on-site solar to energy efficiency upgrades on light, heating and cooling and bus fleet electrication. Baltimore City Public Schools recent completed the first phase of a $3.5 million energy efficiency project which includes LED lighting and sensors to control the usage of electricity there.