April 2, 2018

About

What is Watt Watchers of Texas?

Watt Watchers of Texas is an energy efficiency program designed to help schools and families save energy and money. Founded in 1985 as The Watt Watchers of Texas, the original program focused primarily on student patrol groups assigned to areas of the school, checking for energy waste in the form of building lights. If students find lights on in empty rooms they would leave “tickets” and remind people to turn the lights off. Over the decades Watt Watcher energy patrols have saved participating schools around the State from hundreds to thousands of dollars in energy costs each year.

In 2018, Watt Watchers relaunched as an updated version of the original program that builds upon the patrol program and related materials. The digital program design allows teachers to have easier access to materials. Additionally, the digital platform can continuously and seamlessly update and will help save material cost for districts. Designed to go deeper than just turning the lights off, students, teachers and families will now have the opportunity to learn about energy conservation and cost saving tips through modern, everyday categories, such as food, water, and transportation.

Who offers the program?
The Watt Watchers of Texas program is administered by the University of Texas at Austin and distributed by Disco Learning Media. The program is sponsored by the Texas State Energy Conservation Office (SECO).
Who can participate?
Students, teachers, families – anyone can use the online website and form a Watt Watchers of Texas patrol. An example could be a classroom studying an energy unit, an energy related extra curricular group, or even a service organization or after school group. Parents and community leaders may also use activities or lesson plans contained on this site to inform a conversation about conservation or to save energy and money outside of school.
When does it occur?
Watt Watchers of Texas is an online collection of resources that is accessible 24/7. For student patrols, groups can patrol before and after school, once a week, during their energy unit, or whenever it will fit into your schedule. Other activities and projects are appropriate for in-class or homework assignments throughout the year as appropriate for your lesson plans.
What is the cost?
The training and support necessary for the Watt Watchers of Texas program are absolutely free, thanks to funding from SECO, and they are all available on this site. Explore to find curriculum supplements, lesson plans, and projects for all grades K-12, and much more.
Why bother?
Why should administrators and staff work to save energy? One answer is money. Reducing school energy costs can increase dollars available in the school district budget for educational uses. From a global perspective, saving energy saves natural resources and reduces associated environmental problems.
Yes, but why involve students?
Energy efficiency is everyone’s responsibility. School is a significant part of the student’s world, and the Watt Watcher program is a proven method of teaching energy efficient habits while reducing school electric bills. Our energy future depends on decisions students will make about energy use; Watt Watchers gives them the opportunity to make a difference now by “doing something” for their school.
Could my school benefit from the dollar savings?
A portion of the savings may be returned directly to the school as an incentive. But whether schools receive rebates or not, students and staff learn energy efficiency and everyone wins.
How can my school start Watt Watchers?
This website includes the sequence of steps for organizing and implementing Student Patrols Programs as well as tickets, thank you notes, patrol records, student contracts, and other materials for teaching and motivating students and staff. Copy and distribute the material as freely as needed. Remember, it is all free to your school. Even if Student Patrols are not the right fit for your school or this semester, the wide range of lessons, activities, and projects can supplement in-class teaching and learning and take the lessons learned into the real world.
After we enroll, what if we need more materials or help?
You can download and print any materials for free from this website. You may want to keep in mind the environmental implications of printing and reprinting online resources. If you do need further assistance you can contact us by email at contact@watt-watchers.com. We will update this site routinely with updated information regarding teacher training, events, or updated resources.

Additional Questions?

If you have questions about the program or getting connected with other Watt Watchers teachers, reach out to our Program Manager Bri Miller.