The Houston Independent School District is the first district to be awarded an Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) Climate Corps Fellow this summer to develop a customized energy plan for implementation district wide. Joseph Konkel, instructional assistant at the University of Houston’s College of Business, will provide consulting and expertise on the district’s energy needs during this summer.
“We are thrilled to be awarded this Climate Corps Fellow as it will provide HISD added support as we continue with our energy efficiency efforts across the district,” said HISD Energy Manager Gavin Dillingham. “Having a Climate Corps fellow will allow the district to prioritize facilities for large scale capital retrofits.”
The district will provide Konkel with senior-level support, a day-to-day supervisor, and access to energy use data. HISD has committed to reducing its energy use, acting on the fellow’s recommendations where feasible, and providing updates on implementation of energy efficient measures at six and eighteen-month intervals, following the fellowship’s completion.
At the program’s culmination, EDF aggregates the total projected investment dollars, energy savings in kilowatt hours and cost savings resulting from recommendations made by the fellows.
“I am excited that HISD has the opportunity to participate in such an innovative program. Houston is already considered the energy capital of the world,” said Texas State Senator Rodney Ellis. “This provides a great opportunity for HISD to be an example for other school districts around the country, as they are the first district to participate in the program.”
EDF’s Climate Corps is an innovative summer fellowship program that places MBA and MPA students from top graduate schools at companies, cities and universities to help with investing in energy efficiency. Companies like Boeing, Blue Cross Blue Shield and Citigroup have achieved more energy efficient operations as a result of having a Climate Corps Fellow. HISD is the first K-12 organization to participate in the program.
For more information about the District’s energy-efficiency initiatives, and the Green School Challenge, please visit www.hisd.org/greenschoolchallenge. To access Climate Corps Fellow case studies, and learn more about the program, visit www.edfclimatecorps.org.