In order for youth to take the lead in the energy saving movement, Seoul is organizing a citizen-engaging program known as the Energy Guardian Angels Corp. Composed of young students from elementary through high school, the Corp nurtures the students to grow as leaders in the energy-saving culture in Korea
In July 2012, Seoul launched the Energy Guardian Angels Corps to encourage more youngsters to voluntarily join in energy saving practices in their lives. The launch contributed to greater awareness not just among students but also among parents and schools.
About Half of Schools in Seoul Take Part
In 2012 when the Corp was first formed, 214 schools joined in the move and the number grew to 557 in just 2 years, which represents 43% of all schools in Korea. Participation of students is expected to cause ripple effect since it encourages families of member students to join in the energy saving initiatives at home.
Cooperation with School and Experts
Members of the Energy Guardian Angels Corp are supported by a number of groups. At school, teachers serve as mentors, teach the Angels about energy saving practices and lead initiatives. Outside school, there are civil groups and experts in energy who also support the cause of the Corp. Such support both within and outside classroom allow the Angels to actively pursue the cause of energy saving.
Seoul’s Unsparing Support
The city government is offering full assistance to the proud youngsters with a wide range of programs and incentives.
Education Programs and Cultural Events
The SMG, together with experienced civil groups, provides education programs on energy saving and climate change so that the youngsters can better manage the organization. Seoul’s cultural programs for members and their families are very useful as well. Seoul organized the initiation ceremony, hands-on training programs, camps as well as several campaigns. More programs to engage them are under consideration.
Incentives and Education Contents
Seoul offers a tiered incentive system for participants to the Energy Guardian Angels Corp program. The first tier incentive is for the so-called ‘Prestigious Class’ with better performance, and the second tier for the ‘Regular Class’, and incentives are awarded to high-performing schools, teachers and students. There are programs are available for principals and mentors while contests and newsletters enrich activities of the Corp. In particular, the energy booklet created by the city government serves as a useful reference for the members.
Sharing Energy Saving Knowhow
Under the Energy Guardian Angels Corp initiative, schools and students voluntarily come up with some of the brilliant ideas. One of the novel ideas brought about by students was that a school should recognize energy-saving activities as the required community services and give credit for such activities. Many of the ideas were implementable in classroom setting. Seoul is sharing such innovative ideas with schools throughout the city.
Driving Seoul’s Energy Initiative
The Corp has contributed to saving energy, spreading energy-saving culture at school, and raising awareness of Seoul’s green initiative to the general public.
Energy-Saving in Participating Schools
As of 2014, there were about 24,000 students from 526 schools that took park in the Energy Guardian Angel Corp. Together, they led to an average of 6.7% reduction in electricity use, which translates to saving KRW 1.154 billion in electricity bills.
300,000 Students per Year In the Corp
As of 2014, 34,552 students from 521 schools across Seoul participated in some form of education programs or campaigns led by the city government. Besides the government-led initiatives, these students also took part in 3,726 of energy-related programs that are launched by schools. The figures show that students are extremely keen on energy savings. It is worth nothing that many student-focused programs such as the Energy Guardian Angel Corp can lay a strong foundation for them to grow into the leaders in environment.