Advice from Last Year’s Top Energy-Saving School

The My Energy Kit Challenge is off to an exciting start for the 2017-18 school year. Across North Carolina, South Carolina, Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana, NTC actors are busy performing Kilowatt Kitchen and The E-Team, brand-new programs from Duke Energy. We’re on our way to once again save 10 million kilowatt-hours of energy this school year – but before we get too far ahead of ourselves, we thought we’d take a moment to catch up with our final grand prize winner from the 2016-17 school year and reflect with them about their experience with the My Energy Kit Challenge.

At the end of last year, we awarded the final grand prize of $2,500 to the top energy-saving school from the spring: Harris Road Middle School in Concord, NC. The middle schoolers and staff at Harris Road went all out to save energy last year, reaching over 1,200 Energy Kit sign-ups from their families and staff. When installed, the items in those kits saved over 237,000 kilowatt-hours of energy. This not only made them the top energy-saving school out of last spring’s participating schools, but also the top energy-saving school across all participating schools since this program began in 2011. Yowza!

Their achievement was certainly a team effort – many teachers and staff at the school led the charge! Are you hoping to go the distance and win the grand prize this year? If so, take notes – you can learn from these pros.

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

Annette Bartlett: I was excited that the students and community had supported the program and wanted to make changes to save energy.

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Science teachers Meri Nettell and Annette Bartlett proudly display their checks.

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

Annette Bartlett: Since I teach Earth and Environmental Science, I had students talk with their families about what they were doing to conserve energy or what they could do to save energy. The students received extra credit.

NTC: What was your school’s favorite part about the live performance that came to your school?

Annette Bartlett: The students liked when they were able to participate in the show.

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NTC actors performed with a Harris Road student volunteer during the Energy Agents performance.

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

Annette Bartlett: The money has been placed in our fund to build an outdoor classroom that would include sustainable parts and pieces.

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

Annette Bartlett: They could not believe that as a community you could save that much energy. They wanted to make changes in order to save more energy.

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Principal Steven Bookhardt and social studies teacher Gwendolyn Glenn tracked the energy their school saved using the My Energy Kit Challenge poster.

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

Annette Bartlett: Get the community involved. Have information at your school events. However, have the students [instead of staff] talk to the people who come to the events – for example, our Spring Festival.

NTC: Would you recommend this program to other schools?

Annette Bartlett: Yes, the presentation was very good and engaged the students, giving the program a great head start.

Want to engage YOUR school community and empower your students to do their part to help the planet? The My Energy Kit team is here for you! Contact us at or call 1-855-386-9548 if you need help. Together, we can make a BIG difference.