Saving energy & achieving zero net energy

LadyBird_0684_small.jpgLady Bird MS opened in 2011 in time for the next school year. As of 2014, the school’s energy use reduction has been dramatic, saving the school more than $100,000 a year on electricity. And the school has achieved one of its major goals: to become a Zero Net Energy school.

What is Zero Net Energy?

What happens when we combine renewables is that they work together to maximize energy savings. For example, combining captured solar energy with geothermal energy is a true reducer when it comes to energy use.

For a home or a school building, Zero Net Energy means that the total amount of energy used on a yearly basis is roughly equal to the amount of renewable energy created on the site. Over the course of a year, a Zero Net Energy home or building sometimes uses electricity supplied by the electric company through its “grid,” but then returns roughly the same amount of stored electricity (from the solar units) back to the electricity grid. So it’s more or less an even trade.

The most highly efficient homes and buildings in the world achieve Zero Net Energy of “near zero net energy.” This is due to the renewables employed. We will see many more such buildings in the future.

What LBJ MS Promises

Buildings like Lady Bird Johnson Middle School may be the exception today but when you reach adulthood they will be the norm. That’s because saving energy and conserving resources is important to all of us, and especially to the world that you will grow up and inherit. As schools like Lady Bird Johnson MS teach students about good energy practices, they foster understanding and respect for the natural world around us.

Are you Ready to Geo?

QUIZ - What have you learned?