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Leading the Transition to Clean Energy

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The City of Philadelphia School System’s Save Energy Campaign is one of the most remarkable success stories of its kind. Begun in 1983-1984 with no money at all, the campaign has become a leading revolving fund and has saved over $77 million in the past 11 years. By figuring out a unique and highly effective means to motivate key players in the schools themselves, the program has not only provided dramatic dollar savings, but has allowed the school system to do its number one job better, namely teaching students. In fact, through the dollar savings the program has provided the funds to purchase a large number of the personal computers in the entire district.

The School District of Philadelphia is the fifth largest school district in the country, with 258 schools, 282 buildings, and an annual enrollment of over a fifth of a million students. On top of these numbers, the School District’s student population has grown by nearly 3% in the past decade, further stressing its facilities and its operating budget. Each year the School District consumes an enormous amount of energy in the forms of electricity, gas, oil, steam, and even coal, which combined account to nearly $32 million annually, taxing the School District and limiting the amount of money that can be better applied to education. These factors created the impetus for the Save Energy Campaign, one of the most exciting and successful revolving funds in the United States.

Perhaps the key lesson learned in Philadelphia is that energy can be saved in facilities when the proper incentives are put in place. While the School District has nearly 500 electric meters and over 200 gas meters, individual schools were never cognizant of their shares of energy use. In fact, a single electrical bill is sent to the School District by PECO Energy each month! What Jack Myers and others at the School District figured out was a clever way of providing an incentive for each school to save energy. By sharing the resulting energy savings between the School District overall and the individual schools that generated the savings, tremendous savings have accrued, and money has been redirected from wasted lighting and heat, to books, teachers, computers, and the like.

Remarkably, the Save Energy Campaign began with no money at all. Now after eleven years, the program has saved nearly a terawatt-hour of electricity, nearly ten billion cubic feet of natural gas, over 50 million gallons of oil, two billion pounds of steam, and over 100,000 tons of coal! These energy savings, in turn, have resulted in dollar savings that exceed $77 million, an inspiring achievement and a tribute to clever program design and the diligent efforts of the School District of Philadelphia’s administration and each of the schools involved, including their principals, staff, and students. Together these players are to be commended as they have proven that saving energy is possible without capital, without utility sponsored programs, and in dire conditions for the benefit of all.



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IIEC Profile

Our Vision & Values

Our Vision & Values

Our vision is to accelerate the promotion of sustainable energy and environmental programs in developing countries and countries in transition.  Our unique values are strived to provide sustainable solutions with proven technical capabilities, implement with wealth of practical and international experience in Asia and Pacific regions. Read more...

Our Niche & Strengths

Our Niche & Strengths

IIEC works on-the-ground, through multi-disciplined staff and partners, with governments and the private sector to implement energy efficiency and renewable energy programs and projects.  Read more...

Our Capabilities

Our Capabilities

Specific services provided by IIEC to its clients include: DSM/EE Implementation & Evaluation; Development & Implementation of EE Standards and Labeling Programs; Renewable Energy Project Planning & Implementation; Clean Energy Finance Design; and Implementation of Energy Efficient Buildings  Read more...

Our Major Clients

Our Major Clients

IIEC’s major clients include the World Bank, the Asian Development Bank (ADB), the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) etc.  Read more...

Our Offices


IIEC operates through its offices in India, Thailand and Philippines.  Read more...

Our Team

Our Team

IIEC has full time local staff in each of its offices that are well placed to contribute to programs due to their extensive exposure to energy, transport and environmental activities in the region and their understanding of cultural issues relevant to the countries.  Read more...

Our Board

Board of Directors

IIEC’s Board of Directors is comprised of nine members, who are dedicated to providing strategic guidance to the organization as it advances its goal to promote sustainable and efficient energy use in developing nations and economies in transition.  Read more...


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