Energy conservation goes hand in hand with helping families save money on their home utilities since it typically holds true that the more energy you save at home, the lower your utility bills tend to be. In partnership with the National Science Teachers Association, the U.S. Department of Energy called the nation on Tuesday to be part of a new Home Energy Education Challenge through classroom projects that utilize real-life data. Education Secretary Arne Duncan mentioned to the Los Angeles Times that making the connection between real at-home experiences and teachings in the classroom is what helps get kids the most out of their education and furthers their hunger for learning.

Rival schools are encouraged to participate in the program to help bring friendly competition and additional motivation to the students involved in the challenge. Schools will be competing for over $200,000 in prize money on a local, regional and national level. Students must come up with creative ways to help reduce overall energy costs in their home over a three month period beginning in the Fall of 2011. By comparing the household energy data (ultimately from residential metering) from the same three months of the previous year, students and their families will be able to determine if their energy conservation efforts have paid off.

Energy Secretary Steven Chu commented on the overall goal of the energy efficiency challenge through the education system: “We want to help families save money by saving energy [...] Students can play more roles in encouraging their families to seize the energy-efficiency opportunity. Reducing energy waste is good for our environment, our economy and for families’ pocketbooks.”

Below, you’ll find a video from the National Science Teachers Association, though not related to this particular challenge, it’s a clip to help inspire scientific education for the future advancement of science and technology in our country. Visit the Home Energy Challenge website to learn more about the “save energy, save money” program. You can also head over to Connect Your Home online to ensure that you’re not paying more for home services in your local area – or call 888-566-3979.