CEEM Blog: Getting Schooled on Energy Efficiency

Brian Scott is a science teacher on a mission. His goal is to increase sustainable practices in his school’s operations and support his students on their pathway to science-based careers. He teaches AP environmental science at Harbor City International School, a public, tuition-free charter high school in Duluth.

Group of high school students working together around a table.

Among the activities he’s led have been pursuing an assessment for solar at his school, serving as an advisor to the student-led sustainability group, and leading a variety of activities and clean-up competitions during the school’s Earth Week. His interest in educating students on environmental issues centers on the idea of leaving a positive “handprint.” Essentially, teaching students how to not only reduce their negative footprints, but also teach how their contributions can lead to positive change in the world. (More information about handprints here).

Following the USGBC Green Schools and IMPACT sustainability conferences, Brian wanted to introduce his students to a professional working in clean energy.

Fortunately, Tanuj Gulati from Energy Insight, Inc. on behalf of Minnesota Power was available to fulfill this request. Tanuj has worked in energy efficiency for more than fifteen years helping a wide range of Minnesota Power’s utility customers save energy and lower costs as a Senior Energy Engineer. He is also an enthusiastic volunteer for educating about energy conservation!

“In this day and age energy conservation has to be part of our life styles; students, as part of the future generation, are the best audience for this message.  They will be the ones helping us save energy and make a difference,” said Tanuj.

As a guest speaker, Tanuj explained Minnesota Power’s PowerGrant program, Energy Insight’s business model, how they work with customers, and described several types of careers in energy. He also explained how the average family or company can improve their energy efficiency, provided ideas for how students could advocate for energy efficiency in their school, workplace or home, and shared ideas for how students could prioritize some projects or initiatives over others.

Students were enthusiastic about Tanuj’s visit:

“The presentation was not only engaging and informative, but it was also very inspiring!” said twelfth grader Deni.

“I personally found our discussion extremely educational, important, and it stood out compared to other discussions. I learned to be a lot more confident in my future and the true importance and value of hard work and standing out, being different,” said eleventh grader Ryan.

Eleventh grader Will had this message to share with Tanuj, “Thank you for your inspirational words and the information you shared. I hope to get to work with you again on making our school more efficient.”

Clean Energy Economy MN was delighted to introduce Brian and Tanuj in advance of this visit. Energy efficiency employs more than 46,000 Minnesotans — a full three-quarters of the state’s clean energy workforce. Energy efficiency serves an important role in our state by helping avoid costs and returning  dollars to our local communities.

For more information about Minnesota Power’s Energy Conservation Program, please visit www.mnpower.com.

For more information about Energy Insight, Inc., please visit www.EnergyInsightInc.com

For more information about Harbor City International School, please visit www.harborcityschool.org.

For more information about energy efficiency jobs and all clean energy jobs, visit www.cleanenergyeconomymn.org/mn-clean-jobs-numbers.

 

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