Austin Energy Middle School Educational Outreach Program Recognized

February 6, 2019

Earlier this week, Austin Energy earned the Consumer Education Award for its Austin Energy All-Stars program at the 2019 Consumer Symposium at DistribuTECH, the Smart Energy Consumer Collaborative in New Orleans. Austin Energy All-Stars educates 6th-grade students, parents and teachers on ways to be more energy-conscious and to save money in their own homes. Each student also receives an All-Stars kit, which includes an LED light bulb, a digital thermometer and a smart power strip.

Open to all Austin-area middle schools, All-Stars program staff provided energy conservation curriculum to more than 6,500 students in its first two years. Donylle Seals, Environmental Program Coordinator, said that middle school is the perfect time to introduce students to these concepts.

"The Austin Energy All-Stars information aligns with the curriculum students are already learning in 6th-grade about electricity and electric currents," she said. "They can apply lessons they learned in school and see something that makes a real difference in their own home."

Seals said that one example she gives students is that on average, incandescent light bulb energy costs $1 to use and LED light bulb energy costs $.25. She asks students to multiply each value by the average number of light bulbs in a home (40). "When they see that 40 incandescent bulbs would cost $40 and 40 LED bulbs would only cost $10, they start to think about other ways they could save money in their home. I am so proud of the behavioral impact this program could have," she said.

The Smart Energy Consumer Collaborative also recognized four other utilities at the 2019 Best Practices Awards for practices, programs and strategies from electricity providers that are shifting the focus of the energy industry to the consumer. More information on the winning programs can be found in the 2019 Best Practices Guide.

"Consumer education is such a critical component of developing a more customer-centric energy ecosystem," said Patty Durand, President and CEO of Smart Energy Consumer Collaborative. "The Austin Energy All-Stars program is an excellent example of how utilities can help build more energy-conscious communities.”

Austin Energy staff picking up the All-Stars Award in New Orleans.

Austin Energy staff picking up the award in New Orleans.

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