HARC is working to advance research in solar panel efficiency in marine environments. When sunlight travels through humid, salty air in sunny areas like the Texas Gulf Coast, the sunlight becomes dispersed and is less efficient at generating electricity.
K-12 Energy Management Program Study
HARC is developing a research program to study the efficacy of energy management programs in Texas school districts. The energy expenditure for a Texas school district is typically the second largest single budget line item after salaries. Plenty of opportunities are available for school districts to reduce their energy consumption, thereby reducing costs and have additional funds available for education of students.
The project is led by Dr. Gavin Dillingham, Research Scientist in Clean Energy Policy. HARC is partnering with Arlington ISD, the Texas Association of School Business Officials (TASBO) and the Texas Energy Managers Association. An online survey was distributed to school districts to collect information on the status and scope of school district energy management programs. HARC is drafting a research report focusing on the behavioral component of energy management programs to explain the efficacy of different behavioral and programmatic approaches.
In 2014, the project team will conduct another round of surveys to capture additional energy program details and will conduct phone interviews with school districts. The hope is that this will become a yearly survey to study the evolution of K-12 energy management programs over time and to develop a better understanding of the long-term effectiveness of these programs.