Energy Matters

Energy Matters and Washington Green Schools

In the new Energy Matters program, Washington Green Schools has teamed up with energy services industry leader, McKinstry, to create resources that unite student learning and energy conservation in their schools. The goal of Energy Matters is to educate students and K-12 school communities about how energy is used in schools and to generate activities that improve energy conservation and efficiency. Students will benefit from real-world opportunities to strengthen their knowledge and skills, and school districts will benefit through improvements in energy conservation.

The cornerstone of Energy Matters is a new Washington Green Schools Energy Dashboard. This tool will display monthly energy use and conservation results from participating schools through a web-based interface. In addition, Washington Green Schools has created educational resources connected to the dashboard that will allow students and teachers to investigate and tackle real-world sustainability issues in schools.  These projects strengthen STEM literacy in students and inspire resource conservation in schools.

Opportunities for Students:

Students participating in Energy Matters will practice critical thinking, problem-solving, collaboration, and communication skills. The program addresses many of the key practices, cross cutting concepts, and disciplinary core ideas in the Next Generation Science Standards as well as Common Core standards in math. The program materials are flexible and can be integrated into a variety of courses. For example, in a pre-pilot in Everett Public Schools, Energy Matters was used in a ninth grade coordinated science course. Washington Green Schools will collaborate with participating school districts to ensure successful integration of the program into existing curricula.

About Washington Green Schools:

Washington Green Schools is a nonprofit organization with the mission of challenging students and communities to create greener, healthier school environments. Schools become certified as Washington Green Schools by forming Green Teams, setting goals, completing rigorous assessments in categories such as energy, waste, and water, and creating solutions to real issues on campus. Students strengthen skills they need for success in life, and schools become leaders of positive change in their communities. Today there are more than 53,000 students from 280 schools and 23 counties participating in the Washington Green Schools network. The vision is that every school in Washington will teach, model and practice environmental sustainability and that every student will learn and grow in a green and healthy school.  Please visit to learn more about the program and our participating schools.

About the Energy Dashboard:

The dashboard will utilize monthly bill data to show energy usage and energy cost trends for each school in your district.  The data analysis will allow students to learn about concepts such as Energy Use Intensity (EUI), Energy Star, total energy savings, and total cost savings as well as more tangible metrics like homes powered and cars off the road. Participating schools and districts will be able to compare performance to schools from other parts of Washington State.

Participating school districts will need to provide Washington Green Schools with simple, specific data on monthly basis. Washington Green Schools will share the data with McKinstry, who will apply a weatherization algorithm to remove the effects of climate on energy use, and then input the data into the dashboard for viewing via the Washington Green Schools website.  The dashboard will also include easy access to educational materials as well as helpful hints and tips to stimulate energy conservation. 

Cost and Commitment:

Thanks to support from McKinstry, Washington STEM, the Laird Norton Family Foundation, and the Sustainable Path Foundation, Washington Green Schools is able to provide the Energy Dashboard to school districts at a significantly discounted rate.

Energy Star Certified
All Camas Schools are members of the District’s Energy Star family and have earned the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) ENERGY STAR certification, which signifies that the building performs in the top 25 percent of similar facilities nationwide for energy efficiency and meets strict energy efficiency performance levels set by the EPA.
Level 3 Green Schools
Grass Valley Elementary: This school was certified at Level 3 in school grounds. The Green Team worked to breathe new life into neglected areas of the campus and organized weeding parties to help keep areas free of invasive species. It also planned a composting center for leaves, other vegetation and kitchen scraps.


Skyridge Middle School: This school was certified at Level 3 in Waste & Recycling, Transportation, and Healthy School Buildings. The Green Team began an educational campaign and replaced all of their antibacterial spray with an all-natural, environmentally responsible alternative. The Green Team also continues to maintain the changes that they have achieved in past certifications through the implementation of recycling programs, no-idling zones, and student-led efforts to lessen Skyridge’s environmental footprint. Thanks to their efforts, Skyridge is now a healthier, more sustainable place! Sky Hawks Logo - Full Color