Continuing Last Year’s Energy Saving Success!

You may have noticed that the calendar now has an entirely new number assigned to it – 2017! As we look forward to the future, this time also calls for reflection on the past. The fall tours of Duke Energy’s free, in-school programs The Conservation Caper and Energy Agents were great achievements with 747 schools visited, 346,427 students introduced to energy-saving techniques and ultimately, over 6,500,000 kilowatt-hours saved. The My Energy Kit Team could not have done it without the determination of so many parents, teachers and administrators throughout North Carolina, South Carolina, Indiana, Ohio and Kentucky.

Three members of the My Energy Kit Team are actors TJ, Elsa and Olivia from The National Theatre for Children. Together they performed The Conservation Caper all over North Carolina, South Carolina and Ohio. They visited over a hundred schools in their time on tour, and as they reflect on the year they had, they learned that saving energy is serious business. It can also be fun and easy, however, by participating in the My Energy Kit Challenge. Each Energy Kit that participating schools request as part of Duke Energy’s in-school programs can help. Not only will the items in the Energy Kit make your home more energy efficient, every request takes your school one step further in the My Energy Kit Challenge. 100 Energy Kit requests = $250 for your school.

My Energy Kit

Olivia (right) and her tour partner, Maggie, save energy with the My Energy Kit

Don’t take our word for it though – TJ, Elsa and Olivia have plenty to share about some of the best moments they had on tour playing the energy-saving hero, Nikki Neutron and the indecisive energy-waster, Dr. Maybe. They recount just what made the fall of 2016 such a great time for energy conservation!

Who were some of the most memorable students or teachers you met while performing The Conservation Caper?

Elsa: At one point in the show, Nikki Neutron finds herself competing against Dr. Maybe in the “Big Quiz” about how to save energy. Needing some help, Nikki calls upon three volunteers from the audience to come up on stage to play. During this scene at Cloverleaf Elementary in Statesville, NC, TJ had started whispering wrong answers to the volunteers as Dr. Maybe. One little girl turned around and looked at him and said, "Stop!" She was so annoyed. It was ridiculously cute.

My Energy Kit

Elsa and TJ as Nikki Neutron and Dr. Maybe in The Conservation Caper

TJ: Then at Invest Collegiate in Charlotte, NC, there was a wonderful, very polite, group of students and teachers - the main contact even brought us coffee and doughnuts! This school has a SLIDE from the second to the first floor!!! And yes, we used it.

How about during the actual show itself – anything unexpected occur?

Olivia: In Trenton, OH, at the Babeck Early Childhood Center, when Nikki didn’t open up the Energy Kit early enough in the show, a gym full of impatient first graders started chanting, “Open it! Open it! Open it!” They just couldn’t wait to see what was inside!

Elsa: In Mooresville, NC, at the end of our second show at Shepherd Elementary, while we were talking about the program rewards, a tiny first grade girl in a very sparkly bow stood up and yelled, "GIMME THAT MONEEEEEEY!!!"

Did you have any other energy efficiency experiences?

My Energy Kit

Driving by the Peach in Gaffney, SC

Olivia: During our show my partner and I would have a cheering battle where she would present the money prizes and I would cut in with, “but better than all that lame money… for everyone who requests a kit they will get this amazing LED laser ring!” All the kids would go nuts and be way more excited for the ring than for the money.

TJ: Just about everywhere we performed, the students and staff couldn’t get enough of the Energy Kit. Everyone wanted to participate in the My Energy Kit Challenge to save energy in their homes and help their schools win rewards.

Elsa: We saw the world’s largest peach in Gaffney, SC. Residents will know that the “peach” is actually a 135 foot water tower that holds one million gallons of water for the surrounding community.

TJ: So be sure to help conserve that water by requesting your own Energy Kit and using the energy-efficient showerhead, inside!

Yes, 2016 was a good year for energy savers, not just in the Carolinas and Ohio but in other participating schools throughout Duke's service territory. Thanks to actors like TJ, Elsa and Olivia, students were able to see Nikki Neutron defeat Dr. Maybe and feel empowered to take energy conservation into their own hands. The fall may be in the past now, but the My Energy Kit team is already gearing up for another great season of energy conservation. Remember: The goal is to save 10 million kilowatt-hours by the end of the 2016-2017 school year so there is still time. For participating schools this winter and spring, be on the lookout for opportunities from the My Energy Kit Team who will provide families with the tools needed to take action in saving energy every day!