(USA Today) Thompson Elementary ranked 205th out of 239 Houston schools in a report last year that showed each school’s energy cost per student. Walnut Bend Elementary ranked 155th. A third “green” school, built in 2010, ranked 46th in the report, which a local utility did for the district to find ways of cutting energy costs.
Poor equipment maintenance plagued the schools built in 2007, a problem that districtwide improvements are now addressing, said Gavin Dillingham, the district’s energy manager until August.
“People have the mistaken impression that once buildings are LEED-certified, they’re always going to run energy-efficiently,” Dillingham said. “They don’t.”
The problems in Houston illustrate the little-discussed uncertainty of “green schools,” which promise huge energy savings and rising student performance, but do not always deliver, despite their extra cost.
Not all “green” schools fail to promise what they deliver, however, their costs, such as in construction and maintenance, tend to exceed savings. I’m all for doing what’s right for the environment, but this gets absurd.