Energy/Water Efficiency at Glenwood Elementary

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This project focuses on reducing the energy and water footprint of Glenwood Elementary School in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. I inventoried energy and water consumption, modeled costs and benefits of several efficiency upgrades, and implemented those that were possible within a $1000 grant I received from the Kathryn Hoenig Gift. Glenwood is currently responsible for annual emissions of approximately 398 metric tons of CO2 equivalent and 871 kilo gallons of water consumption. Last year, this energy and water consumption carried a price tag of $80,940, of which most ($75,709) was attributable to electricity and natural gas. The energy and water upgrades I chose to implement are low-cost with rapid payback periods. They are very cost-effective, though the magnitude of their impact is small compared to Glenwood’s energy and water consumption as a whole. These measures will save the Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools approximately $750, more than 6800 kWh of electricity, and 44,700 gallons of water annually. Because the upgrades were purchased with grant money, this is essentially an annual $750 donation toward helping the school district meet its educational goals. Implementing such initiatives will also avoid 7,089 pounds of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e) emissions annually. Efficient energy and water use provide financial and environmental benefits, a sometimes elusive partnership. Approximately $850 of the $1000 grant covered the costs of these upgrades. The remaining funds purchased additional lighting timers for the district to use elsewhere and three Kill-A-Watt energy meters for the Glenwood science teacher (a sustainability advocate) to use in teaching her students about energy efficiency.





Kuestner, Holly (2014). Energy/Water Efficiency at Glenwood Elementary. Master's project, Duke University. Retrieved from

Dukes student scholarship is made available to the public using a Creative Commons Attribution / Non-commercial / No derivative (CC-BY-NC-ND) license.