New energy-saving initiative banks on kids

Utilities department gets grant to help kids educate families on sustainable habits

Can kids teach their parents how to save energy?

That's the idea behind a "schools outreach" program to be launched this fall by the Palo Alto Utilities Department.

The agency says it will work with Zilowatt, a local nonprofit that offers interactive tools to teach "behavior change toward energy conservation." Zilowatt was launched by parent members of Palo Alto's Sustainable Schools Committee, said Joyce Kinnear, utilities marketing manager.

Just as kids were used in anti-littering campaigns in the 1960s and 1970s, the energy-saving initiative aims to teach sustainability habits to kids, with the idea that they will take them home to their families, Kinnear said.

Utilities officials said they received a $35,000 grant from the American Public Power Association to help fund the work.

"The goal is to motivate lasting changes in conservation habits of children, their families and also identify ways to save money at the schools facilities themselves," the department said.

Chris Kenrick


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Posted by Just got the latest rate increase memo
a resident of Palo Verde
on Aug 5, 2011 at 10:54 am

I'm all in favor of conserving energy.
However, the way things have been going in Palo Alto as soon as we use less we're going to be charged a whole lot MORE. They need to get the proper incentives lined up.

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Posted by David Pepperdine
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Aug 5, 2011 at 11:07 am

The Utilities Department (CPAU) has discovered that less is more.
The less you use, the more they raise their rates.
And don't even get me started on water rates.

Utilities is the end run around Prop 13. But you'd never hear our elected officials admit it.

Like this comment
Posted by jardins
a resident of Midtown
on Aug 5, 2011 at 10:31 pm

I'd been assuming that schools were already educating kids--and thereby also their parents--about energy conservation, as well as reusing before recycling. Ohlone School (part of the PAUSD)has been doing this for years (my sons went there and now are in college).

Like this comment
Posted by Annie
a resident of Terman Middle School
on Aug 7, 2011 at 5:59 pm

Great idea. Parents tend not to be as worried about the environment as their children. And for good reason!

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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