Without an act of Congress or a single tax levy, our schools could get $1.5 billion in brand-new funding, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. That's the amount of money the department estimates schools are spending on unnecessary energy costs.

Some enterprising school systems are striving to put a damper on their excess energy bills, and they're taking clever steps to save energy—from replacing inefficient computers and other appliances to installing fuel cells and solar panels.

The average California school spends about $180 per student each year on energy and only about $150 per student for books, according to Daryl Mills,


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