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 Texas hundreds to thousands of dollars in energy costs each year.
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.
By the spring of 2005, 3,156 teachers in over 550 school districts had enrolled in the Watt Watchers program. There were more than 760 teachers that had 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 of Texas relaunched as an updated version of the original program, building 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.