Despite all the challenges presented to teachers, schools and students by the COVID-19 pandemic, Mississippi Power’s Energy Efficiency Education Program adapted to a virtual learning landscape and helped more than 3,700 students from 52 schools learn how to use energy more wisely.

Energy Efficiency Education Program Representative Tamara Proctor presents students at St. Alphonsus Elementary School in Ocean Springs with a plaque recognizing their induction into the “$2,000 Club.”

“This school year was full of changes, but we were able to make the needed adjustments to the program so it would work for our schools,” Energy Efficiency Education Representative Tamara Proctor said.

To accommodate in-person COVID-19 restrictions at schools, the program used a virtual studio at the Bay St. Louis Service Center to reach students across the company’s service territory. In total, 40 schools were awarded $11,000 in minigrants for having 75 percent or better participation in the program.

In October, Northeast Lauderdale fourth-grader Lindsey Tisdale became the 25,000th student to receive an energy efficiency education kit.

In May, the Smart Energy Consumer Collaborative recognized the program as a Best Practices Award winner in the Consumer Education category.

Other program highlights this school year include:

  • Added four new schools to the program
    • Laurel Magnet School (Laurel)
    • Laurel Christian School (Laurel)
    • Russell Christian School (Meridian)
    • Poplarville Upper Elementary School (Poplarville)
  • Inducted six new schools in the $1,000 Club for earning $1,000 in minigrants
    • T.J. Harris Upper Elementary School (Meridian)
    • Northeast Lauderdale Elementary School (Meridian)
    • Leakesville Elementary School (Leakesville)
    • Bay Springs Elementary School (Bay Springs)
    • West Elementary School (Gulfport)
    • Leake County Elementary School (Walnut Grove)
  • Inducted one new school in the 500+ Club for having more than 500 students participate
    • T.J. Harris Upper Elementary School (Meridian)
  • Created $2,000 Club for schools earning $2,000 in minigrants:
    • Pineville Elementary School (Pass Christian)
    • Hawkins Elementary School (Hattiesburg)
    • St. Alphonsus Elementary School (Ocean Springs)
    • St. James Elementary School (Gulfport)

As for the upcoming school year, Proctor has one simple wish: “We’re hoping that schools will allow visitors to return to campuses in the fall and that we can get back to in-person visits. The energy that the students bring to each of our presentations is so special!”

Now in its 96th year of operations, Mississippi Power, a subsidiary of Southern Company (NYSE: SO), produces safe, reliable and affordable energy for more than 188,000 customers in 23 southeast Mississippi counties. Mississippi Power recently was a recipient of the Community Partner Impact Award from the Center for Energy Workforce Development for its innovative and ongoing efforts to build a diverse workforce. With nearly 160 megawatts of approved solar energy capacity, Mississippi Power is the largest partner in providing renewable energy in the state of Mississippi. Visit our websites and, like us on Facebook, and follow us on TwitterInstagram, LinkedIn, and YouTube.