$2,500 Winner:
Pine Lake Preparatory Charter School

Among the hundreds of schools that hosted Kilowatt Kitchen and The E-Team last fall, one school went above and beyond while participating in the My Energy Kit Challenge. This January, NTC awarded the first school grand prize of $2,500 to the top energy-saving school: Pine Lake Preparatory Charter School in Mooresville, North Carolina. The school reached a whopping 577 Energy Kit requests from their families, staff, faculty and community, and together saved over 115,000 kWh of energy. WOW!

After awarding Pine Lake Preparatory their well-deserved grand prize, we had the chance to ask Operations Supervisor and Lower School Assistant Principal, Joe Webb, to reflect on their achievement.

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L-R, back row: Joe Webb, Operations Supervisor and Lower School Assistant Principal, and Shelly Sims, Lower School Principal
L-R, front row students: Nolan, Nora Kate, Henry, Keaton and Maya

NTC: What’s your reaction to winning the My Energy Kit $2,500 school grand prize?

Webb: We are so excited at the response our community showed and the number of kit sign-ups. As a charter school, we are always looking for ways to find revenue to support campus operations. This was such a fun and creative initiative, while also an opportunity to increase awareness on energy conservation. We are a K-12 school with a focus on STEM education, and this program aligns so well with our classroom teaching.

NTC: How did you encourage your school’s families and staff to sign up for their free Energy Kits?

Webb: We kept the My Energy Kit Challenge in front of families in a weekly newsletter, on Facebook and through email. We shared how many kits had been requested periodically, and how many more were needed for the next $250 prize. One family shared a social media post with their neighborhood Facebook page, asking neighbors to request their kits as well.

NTC: What was your school’s favorite part about the Kilowatt Kitchen in-school program?

Webb: The students really enjoyed the interactive program. They were really into it, and it helped that teachers went back to their classrooms and reinforced the themes of the show. The kids were also excited to be a part of an “adult” movement, and really got their parents to request those kits. It was fun to see.

NTC: What do you think you’ll do with your prize-winning money?

Webb: In an ironic twist, we are likely going to use it for more energy. We are currently exploring solar panels on campus, and are likely going to use this money to get our program going. So not only have we made an impact by requesting all those kits, the prize money will lead to an even bigger impact as we make a move to solar.

NTC: Are your students excited to see the energy they’ve saved?

Webb: They were really excited to get their parents to request those kits! The ring was a genius move by you guys. I think the impact of the show was lasting, and I am sure that they will remember this campaign fondly and hopefully understand that they helped put solar panels on our campus.

NTC: Do you have any advice for other participating schools on how they can make the most of this program? Would you recommend this program to other schools?

Webb: Just keep reminding families – we receive so many demands on our attention that it’s important to be consistent; but the program is an easy “sell,” as everyone benefits; from the free kit, to raising conservation awareness, to the rewards for the school.

From all of us at Duke Energy and NTC, we want to thank Pine Lake Preparatory for their efforts and for instilling the values of energy conservation in their children. And to all of you families and educators out there reading this and participating in this program: THANK YOU! We are proud to offer you this program and work together to make a positive impact on our planet.