Thursday, April 24, 2014

This past Saturday, September 28th, volunteers from USC-Columbia campus joined parents, students, and teachers from Mellichamp Elementary school in Orangeburg to do a weatherization project. Volunteers from Greenergy came to do a blower door test and identify where air was leaking out of the buildings, leading to higher energy expenditures for the school. Volunteers worked together to caulk the cracks in windows and glue down the floorboards that were causing these leaks to increase the school's energy efficiency. In addition to weatherizing the classrooms, motion sensing lights were installed in janitorial closets to reduce energy costs caused by accidentally leaving these lights on. Finally, Mellichamp Elementary was also surprised with four new basketball nets for their playground. Materials were graciously donated by Home Depot,Tractor Supply Co, and Harris Lighting.Volunteers Caulking Windows

Check out the latest Political BuzzBite in The State Newspaper regarding the growing Green Schools Caucus!

Green Schools Caucus BuzzBite

Senator Raymond Cleary introduced a resolution to encourage South Carolina schools to take advantage of the monetarty incentives that local utilities are providing for energy efficiency. Read about it further at:

Our friends at the United States Green Building Council have released their new report on the State of Our Schools. The report that the US needs to spend over $542 billion over the next decade to repair and upgrade our existing schools. 

You can find more on their report at

The Department of Energy (DOE) has awarded funding to the SC Energy Office (SCEO) to fund several high impact educational or demonstration projects in the areas of energy efficiency, renewable energy, and alternative fuels.  State agencies, local governments, state funded colleges, universities and technical colleges, public schools (k-12), utilities and non-profits are all eligible for the funding. SCEO plans to award between $3,000-$5,000 for no more than six projects this year. All applications are due by close of business on March 22, 2013. If interested, please refer to the link below for more information and to obtain the application.

Please join us on Monday, January 14th at 8:30 AM, for our first stop on the Palmetto Green Schools tour. The meeting will take place at the  The Conservation Voters of South Carolina Education Fund will provide coffee and a light breakfast. 
  • January 14th 8:30 AM: Hampton School District One Office located at 372 Pine Street, Varnville, SC, 29944.
  • January 14th 12:30 AM: Leonard Dawson Center, 5573 Voorhees Road, Denmark, SC, 29042
  • Evening of January 14th in Orangeburg. Exact location and time TBA.
At this meeting we will cover a manifold of topics, including a discussion on current energy legislation, and how to benchmark energy consumption, funding opportunities available through the State Energy Office and local utilities, best practices, and the formation on "Green Teams".  
Attendees will include area legislators, mayors, superintendents, principals, facility managers, and school board members. 
If we have not included someone whom you think may be interested in attending the conversation, please forward. We ask that you RSVP by January 9th to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. . 
We hope to see you there!

Great things are happening at St Paul Elementary in Clarendon School District 1! In 2010, the district utilized a great deal of stimulus money and rebates from Progress Energy to fund a new state of the art Elementary school.  Energy Manager, Greg Holliday made sure that the district spent this money wisely by making the building “Green”. This includes double-paned windows throughout the school, extensive use of daylight harvesting in main areas as well as all classrooms, and sensors that can detect how much natural light is pouring into the classroom. When bright outside, these sensors dim the interior lights, lowering energy consumption. Greg has also made use of scheduling opportunities, setting the school to shut down on weekends and holidays. The building also shuts down by 5 on weekdays but teachers have the ability to override the system in their individual classrooms for an additional 2 hours if they have a large workload that day. The appliances throughout the school are all energy star and none of the lunch food is fried-promoting energy efficiency and healthy eating habits!

One aspect St Paul has that is rarely seen is that the HVAC systems all have a “GreenWheel”, a self-contained HVAC system designed to provide heating, cooling, and outside fresh air for school classrooms.

St Paul has not left out the small projects either. All of the floor mats are made from recycled bottles. They also only use green cleaning products, reducing the need for harsh chemicals that often cause health problems.

Because of their amazing attention to energy efficiency and sustainability, we give St Paul Elementary School an A+!




@PalmettoGreenSc will be tweeting updates and ways that YOU can be involved! Follow us now! 

The South Carolina Green Schools Caucus is in full swing with members consisting of Senator Ray Cleary (chair), Representative James Smith, Representative Doug Brannon, and Representative Jerry Govan. We have also been receiving numerous responses from other legislators stating their interests. This is a bi-partisan committee. In order to best understand what is already in place and what has been successful in other states, we have included representatives from Duke Energy, the South Carolina State Energy Office, the United States Green Building Council, and Progress Energy. We are tweaking our legislative priorities and should have a full list soon. Some of the priorities for the 2013 Green Schools Caucus include, passing a resolution requiring all certified schools to make readily available graphic information on sustainable features for educational purposes and also encourage the integration of sustainable design principles into the curriculum for the entire school district and pass a resolution requiring all new schools and major renovations to achieve LEED for Schools Silver Certification.
With the creation of the Green Schools Caucus, legislation will be passed requiring new school construction to be more environmentally sustainable, and provide assistance for existing school wanting to go green.

More Articles...

  1. Times and Democrat- 'Corridor of Change'
  2. State newspaper coverage of first weatherization project

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"Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, Nothing is going to get better. It's not." — Dr. Seuss, from The Lorax

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