One of the original Applied Solutions projects, Reading Riding and Retrofit was initially designed to “improve the performance” of the 54 public schools across Buncombe County. This program represented a comprehensive, integrated systems response that demonstrated the feasibility of working with a region’s K-12 schools as a vehicle for advancing community sustainability awareness and enhanced energy savings.
By working with system staff, administration, teachers and students within the city and county school systems, as well as with a variety of local partners, to build a network of support for the schools we achieved significant large-scale energy and operational cost reductions through building energy efficiency, resource conservation and renewable energy applications.
From 2009-2011, in partnership with Land Of Sky and with the seeding support of an EPA Climate Showcase Grant, the program identified conducted audits and implemented energy retrofits for an annual aggregate savings of $250,000 a year and reduced annual gig emissions of 1300 tons. In addition, the program worked to support school cultures that engaged students and teachers in hands on sustainability projects on their campuses.
The program has evolved into the NC Green Schools Program and is currently hosted by the Asheville Buncombe Sustainable Community Initiatives.
NC Green Schools Program website