Energy & Environment » Energy and Environment

Energy and Environment

We at Hopewell City Public Schools take energy conservation very seriously.  We realize that buildings don’t use energy, it’s the people inside the buildings that do!  We continually strive to reduce our consumption of electricity, water, and the amount of waste we generate in order to lower our operating costs and protect our environment.  We believe the effort is worth it.

Since we began our Energy Program, we have avoided paying the utility companies over $5,249,913 and reduced our carbon footprint by 25,974 equivalent metric tons of CO2.  That is the same as removing 5,411 passenger cars from the road for one year.  Through classroom discussions, environmental teams in our schools, and participation in local environmental events, we are helping our staff and students realize the importance of energy and environmental responsibility, not only to their future, but also to all who are living on this planet.


Go to the bottom of the page to download our Division policies and guidelines on Energy Conservation.
  • Develop and promote energy saving habits throughout the division.
  • Establish and maintain a culture of energy savings.
  • Coordinate energy savings efforts with all departments within HCPS.
  • Implement energy saving programs and practices.
  • Provide data and counsel regarding energy usage and cost.
  • Research and recommend energy efficient methods and equipment.
  • Evaluate and utilize the most effective energy providers and rates.
  • Review and verify all utility bills.
  • Utilize energy accounting software to maintain clear and accurate records.
  • Provide regular audit reports as to each buildings energy usage.



HCPS implements the Cenergistic energy management program.  Cenergistic is a firm specializing in energy management consulting and training. In HCPS, every dollar that isn’t used to pay an unnecessarily high utility bill is used to teach children.  HCPS and Cenergistic share a common commitment to fiscal and social responsibility and the wise use of limited financial and environmental resources.

ENERGY STAR is a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency voluntary program that helps businesses and individuals save money and protect our climate through superior energy efficiency.

Cost savings since the Energy Program began in 2003 – 2004 school year are more than $5,249,913.

10 Things Anyone Can Do to Save Energy
  1. Make sure all electronic equipment is turned off at the end of each day.  This includes computers, monitors, copiers and printers, Promethean Boards, computer speakers, CD/DVD/radios, floor fans and heaters, etc…
  2. Turn off the lights when you leave; this applies to any area, anytime, even if it’s just for a few moments.  Lights should not be left on in unoccupied areas.
  3. Be sure that all doors and windows are closed when heating or cooling systems are on.
  4. Ensure doors between conditioned and non-conditioned spaces remain closed at all times.  For example:  doors between gyms and hallways, doors between auditorium and hallways, doors to mechanical rooms, and all outside doors.
  5. Look under and around closed doors, if you can see outside, the weather stripping needs to be replaced, submit a work request to have it fixed.
  6. Be aware of closets, storage rooms, rest rooms, mechanical rooms, and other areas that are not highly occupied.  Make sure the lights are off in those areas when they are not in use.
  7. Gym, athletic field, and tennis court lights should not be left on unless they are being utilized.
  8. Make sure that all toilets stop running water shortly after they flush.  If water continues to flow, submit a work request to have it fixed.
  9. Check all faucets and make sure they don’t drip when they are turned off.  If they continue to drip, submit a work request to have it fixed.
  10. Take a special look at outside lights such as parking lot lights, building perimeter lights, and security lights.  Outside lights should be turned off during the day.  Submit a work request to have outside lights that you see on during the day turned off.


Each school in the division has a recycle team made up of students and a sponsor. They are in charge of collecting and disposing of the paper and cardboard products from each classroom.  The team’s efforts have motivated the whole school to become more involved in recycling.


Recently the City of Hopewell distributed green and yellow curb side recycle containers to make it easy for their residents to support a recycle program.  HCPS is doing something similar.  A grant was applied for and awarded to HCPS for the purchase of 476 classroom recycle waste baskets.  They will be distributed to every classroom and office in the division and will serve as a constant reminder to recycle.


The Green Public Schools Challenge is a friendly competition designed by the Virginia School Boards Association and the Virginia Municipal League through the Go Green Virginia initiative to encourage implementation of specific environmental policies and practical actions that reduce the carbon emissions generated by both the local school division and the local community.

HPCS’s strong commitment to energy conservation was recently recognized when we received first place in our division for implementation of energy conservation measures throughout our school division.


The teachers and staff of HCPS stay busy teaching our students many things including the importance of recycling and conserving energy.


“The 5 Watt” Story”

A 100W monitor uses only five watts when unattended and in sleep mode.  That’s a 95% reduction.  Now, most folks would think this is enough.  Because doing the math (5 watts x 16 hr. / 1,000 x $.10 rate x 250 nights), that comes to $2 per year.  That means it only costs ONE PENNY per night per monitor to leave it on with the PC off.  Realistically that is not a lot of money to be concerned about.  

However, there are about 2,000 monitors in our school division.  At $2 per school year per monitor left on at the end of the day that adds up to $4,000 that we had to pay to the electrical company!

All from “5 watts”.  The little things really do add up!







Morgan, Erinn:  Going Green: Step-by-Step Instruction for a More Cost-Effective, Earth-Friendly Lifestyle in Seven Weeks or Less

Sleeth, Nancy: Go Green: A Simple Guide to Saving Time, Money, and God's Green Earth

Taylor, Nancy H.: Go Green: How to Build an Earth Friendly Community

Harrison, E. Bruce: Going Green: How to Communicate Your Company's Environmental Commitment

Apps That Help Manage Home Energy Use:

Want to manage your home energy use?  Try:

When you want to save energy and reduce your carbon emissions, the first step is to track your usage.  Use any of these apps for energy management, utility bill tracking, auditing, reporting, greenhouse gas tracking, and more.


A large portion of a school system's energy use is devoted to heating and cooling.

We track weather data to analyze our energy savings because of the impact it has on energy use.

Don't guess what the weather was like, do the research by clicking on the link below.

Weather Data Depot


For the rest of this school year, through the weekly Energy Tidbit’s e-mail, you will find some suggested ideas that you can implement to reduce your energy consumption.

Some are creative. Almost all are surprisingly simple.  Individually, they may not seem like much.  However, put together, they can make a difference in your energy usage as well as protect our environment.  So, please take a minute to read each of these tidbits and consider putting them into practice.  They will not only trim your power bill, but also the school districts as well.