TVA awards over $3 million to help make schools safer, more energy efficient

Published 11:41 am Thursday, May 2, 2024

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The Tennessee Valley Authority announced that 106 schools across its Southeast region will have more money back into their budgets and cleaner air thanks to over $3 million in grants for energy and learning environment upgrades. These grants are awarded as part of TVA’s nationally recognized School Uplift program – which has saved participating schools an average of 10% on their energy bills annually through behavioral changes alone. When combined with energy savings from grant-funded upgrades, this year’s participants will save an estimated 9 GWh of energy or the amount of electricity used by 1,241 homes in one year. 

Thursday’s live online announcement was attended by thousands of students and administrators who were eager to learn their school’s grant amount. The grants ranged from $10,000 to $400,000 and were awarded on the score each school achieved by cutting their energy waste, engaging their school community, and a needs-based assessment that determined which school buildings could achieve the greatest energy savings. 

“TVA and our 153 local power company partners have worked to make a positive impact on the communities we serve, and we are especially proud of the impact of our School Uplift program since children are our most important asset,” said Monika Beckner, vice president, TVA Energy Services and Programs. “Reducing energy costs makes more dollars available for educational purposes and improving the quality of the learning environment for both students and teachers helps give every child the opportunity to succeed.”   

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In 2021, TVA launched the School Uplift program to invest in students’ futures by offering energy efficiency training and grants that not only reduce energy costs but improve the quality of the learning environment. To date, TVA has invested $7.87 million and Tennessee’s Energy Efficient Schools Initiative has invested $2.4 million to help 225 schools save on their energy bills. In March, TVA’s School Uplift program was named an ENERGY STAR Partner of the Year, the highest level of EPA recognition for partners that excel at energy management and meet various criteria, such as demonstrating best practices and organization-wide energy savings.  

The 2024-2025 School Uplift program will kick off this summer with up to 120 new schools enrolled and, on their way, to saving energy and helping students across the Valley thrive. 

School Uplift is one of many TVA programs focused on improving outcomes for students in the region. Since 2018, TVA with support of its partners, has provided nearly $6.5 million in education grants supporting over 600,000 students to develop STEM skills and promoted financial skills by managing one of the largest student investment programs in the nation.  

Among schools in Northeast Tennessee receiving TVA funds were Chuckey Doak Middle School in Greeneville; Anderson Elementary School and Tennessee Middle School in Bristol; Glenwood Educational Center and Tusculum Elementary School in Greeneville.