By Joel Hersch

With all of its students out for summer break, Santa Cruz High School was almost completely quiet on Friday morning, save a small team of young California Conservation Corps members who were conducting an energy audit of the building.

The seven-member team, accompanied by several state and school officials, canvassed the building, collecting data on utilities such as lights, power control systems, and heating and air conditioning equipment, while recording their findings using digital tablets.

The survey was part of a statewide program that is auditing California public schools for energy efficiency.

The team uploads the data using the tablets, which allows them to share it in real time with their project partner — the UC Davis Energy Efficiency Center — and create an expenditure plan for upgrades. The school can then submit the plan to the California Energy Commission, which authorizes the school district to receive a certain amount of funding from The 2012 California Clean Energy Jobs Act (Prop. 39).


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