TVA School Uplift Program

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THE SHOALS-Other than making payroll, most schools spend more money on their utility bills than any other expense.
That’s why TVA is offering its School Uplift program—a chance for schools to receive grant funds and guidance on how to reduce their monthly energy costs.

Tom Irwin is a TVA Energy Coach and says most schools save at least 10 percent after participating in the program.
“It’s about changing behavior and increasing awareness,” he said. “And it’s a friendly competition as well. Every school that completes the program receives a $10,000 learning environment grant and the 10 most engaged schools receive $25,000.”
This year’s program features about 106 schools across the seven-state region and TVA is currently recruiting next year’s cohort.

“It’s kind of a guided program because we’ve put together an energy team,” said Irwin. “I have three other coaches I work with and we work with those schools to set goals as far as energy efficiency efforts. We help them track their progress throughout the year and then at the end of the year they publish their results and communicate how to be an energy leader in cooperation with their local electric company who provides that local support.”

Participating schools receive training throughout the year.

“We have five workshops spread out the school year and for next year’s schools we’re going to be having a kickoff workshop later this spring to help teachers get their teams in place before next fall,” Irwin said. “As a coach, I reach out to each of all of my schools I work with at least once a month to talk about what’s working and what needs to be improved. We have our engineers going into each of these schools over the summer and putting together a list of opportunities in each school—no cost or low cost opportunities to lower their bills.”

Many students take what they learn from at school home.

“Turning off the lights when you leave the room, setting back thermostats, and we engage the kids,” Irwin said. “And the parents really appreciate it when the kids remind them maybe of things that mom and dad have been trying to get them to do all along.”

You can learn more about TVA School Uplift at and schools can contact their local power provider to apply for next year’s program.

Media Release/Adam May
Media Senior Specialist TVA

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