In the summers of 2009 and 2010, the participating graduate students identified projects that could reduce energy use by 46 percent. Cost savings are directly linked to improvements in lighting, computer equipment, and heating and cooling systems. Fellows then document how to use savings to pay for energy upgrades. The program is credited with helping North Carolina Central University identify ways the campus could cut energy costs by more than $2.6 million annually, which is a significant 64 percent reduction.
Jill Logeman, EDF program coordinator, explains, “Saving energy means saving money, and that’s the cornerstone of a sustainable business plan for a company or a public organization. Government buildings, campuses and other public places use a tremendous amount of energy, and they can take advantage of smart energy investments just like major corporations.”
This summer the Fund’s Climate Corps Public Sector will assign fellows in several institutions in North Carolina, New Jersey towns, the New York Public Housing Authority, and at minority serving institutions in Texas, Washington, D.C., and Georgia.
EDF Climate Corps Public Sector is an offshoot of EDF Climate Corps, which was founded in 2008 to place top-tier MBA students in the nation’s leading companies to identify and analyze energy-saving opportunities and develop practical, actionable plans for companies to implement them. The program’s rapid success in the corporate world led EDF to expand its work into the public sector.