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Southeastern Region, United States

TVA School Uplift Program

TRC is helping to provide Strategic Energy Management and other improvements for over 150 under-served schools through the Tennessee Valley Authority EnergyRight Program.

The Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) is the largest public power company in the United States. TRC’s Advanced Energy team implements the EnergyRight program for the utility, providing energy efficiency incentives to commercial and industrial customers in the service territory.

In 2020, TRC designed and launched the School Uplift Pilot program for TVA, in order to help K-12 schools in the region reduce energy costs and improve the quality of the learning environment. The School Uplift program focuses on providing strategic energy management (SEM) training and investment to schools in under-served areas, helping them save money through decreased energy use. Through enhanced lighting, ventilation, filtration, and other energy efficiency upgrades, the program also helps students and teachers stay comfortable, healthy and productive in school facilities by improving indoor air quality.

A key part of the program is energy coaching, where program staff develop relationships with school personnel and offer one-on-one training to achieve energy-saving behavioral changes. Program staff also develop action plans to help schools implement behavioral and low cost/no cost upgrades. The School Uplift Pilot program uses Energy Star Portfolio Manager as a lower-cost alternative to energy mapping and modeling, resulting in lower participation costs for participating schools and the program administrators.

For the first cohort, the program has successfully completed SEM training and support for 11 schools, and is currently in the process of training 150 additional schools in SEM practices, with $7.3 million invested in the program over the next two years. The program is administered and implemented by TRC with support from Milepost. In the first year, the 11 schools saved on average $11,138 per school which could provide about 160 books for students.


Energy Savings After Completion of TVA’s School Uplift-funded SEM training


Since 2013, TRC has helped TVA evolve the EnergyRight Solutions for Business and Industry program, transitioning focus from a highly effective energy efficiency program to a program solely focused on beneficial electrification in 2019. In 2020, the program transitioned to respond to the impacts of COVID-19 by providing resources and support that directly helped to mitigate the impacts of the virus throughout the Tennessee Valley. Also in 2020, the program expanded to support energy upgrades for disadvantaged schools and small businesses in the TVA service territory.

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Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA)

Project Location

Tennessee and parts of six surrounding states

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