Energy efficiency programs have been around in our schools for many years. They come in all shapes and sizes, and with many different names, but the Watt Watchers of Texas program has helped expand those programs.
In 1985, the Region IV Education Service Center in Houston was the site of the pilot program for Watt Watchers of Texas. Galveston ISD was one of the first districts to embrace the program within Region IV and they reduced their electric bill by $25,000 that year. The next year, through a contract with the University of Texas Permian Basin, a Watt Watchers program was implemented for West Texas. Their program expanded to include over 160 school districts throughout Texas by 1993. In 1997, Texas expanded the program to cover the entire state and divided the 254 counties between Watteam and Watt Watchers. Student patrols continued to look for lights on in empty classrooms and began to get involved in other projects to stop energy waste, save money and prevent pollution. In 2001, Watteam and Watt Watchers merged to form Watt Watchers of Texas. This allowed us to put all of our resources into helping students across the state.
As of spring 2005, 3,156 teachers in over 550 school districts have enrolled in the Watt Watchers program. There are over 760 teachers that have been doing the program for over five years. Thousands of students have watched watts, ticketed teachers, learned about conservation and energy efficiency, and thousands of dollars have been saved.
In 2018, Watt Watchers relaunched as a digital platform and resource. This program redesign allows teachers to have easier access to materials, the program to continuously and seamlessly update, and will help save material cost for districts.