Sustainable Upgrades to Allegheny Traditional Academy Providing
Cleaner, Cooler Air for Students This School Year



October 3, 2022

Students from Pittsburgh Public Schools’ (PPS) Allegheny Traditional Academy (ATA) in Pittsburgh’s Northside are enjoying cleaner, cooler air this school year following a year-long project by The Efficiency Network (TEN) — a subsidiary of Duquesne Light Holdings (DLH) Inc., which also encompasses Duquesne Light Company (DLC) and DQE Communications. The facility, which serves nearly 700 students in grades pre-K through 8, underwent several energy-efficiency enhancements, including the addition of solar panels; retrofitted HVAC systems; and LED lighting upgrades. Ahead of Pittsburgh’s hosting of the Global Clean Energy Action Forum this week, DLH’s sustainability efforts were highlighted for a number of students at the school on Monday, Sept. 19, where they received hands-on demonstrations on the benefits of electric vehicles and electric cooking.

The ATA project aligns with DLH’s vision to progress toward a clean energy future for all through a focus on innovation, sustainability and equity.

“Our partnership with Pittsburgh Public Schools represents a wonderful opportunity to make a positive difference for our region and students via vital and innovative upgrades to create a more comfortable learning environment,” said Troy Geanopulos, CEO of TEN. “Not only do these modernizations enable a 31% reduction in the school’s annual kilowatt-hour usage — for a total annual energy cost savings of nearly $74,000 — but they also reduce the school’s carbon footprint by 134 metric tons, equivalent to planting more than 2,000 trees.”

TEN also installed solar panels on the roof of the school’s boiler room to assist with heating domestic hot water. The panels also serve as a working demonstration for students given their proximity to classrooms.

“TEN’s upgrades have more than doubled the amount of fresh air delivered to our students through their classrooms,” said Mike McNamara, chief operations officer at PPS. “The addition of air conditioning throughout the entire school, along with upgraded HVAC systems, will enable us to offer additional summer programming, classes and vital educational opportunities for students.” 

At Monday’s event, renowned Chef Chris Galarza gave students a hands-on electric cooking demonstration in honor of Hispanic Heritage Month. Experts from DLC also displayed one of the company’s new electric F-150s and highlighted the benefits of electric driving. Over the past several years, DLC has installed more than 100 electric vehicle charging stations in the region and is working with local municipalities, school districts and nonprofits to help them install charging infrastructure to power their fleets. Between 2022 and 2026, DLC plans to invest $2 billion in infrastructure and technology upgrades to, in part, help southwestern Pennsylvania transition to a clean energy future.

As the region continues to shift toward cost-effective, energy-efficient solutions, TEN is looking forward to similar partnerships in several other school districts, including Aliquippa, New Kensington Arnold, Greater Johnstown and Philadelphia. TEN has a proven history of success with similar initiatives for various academic organizations, including the University of Pittsburgh, Penn State University and the Community College of Allegheny County.

The full scope of the ATA project, which was completed this past August, includes:

  • A deep retrofit of HVAC systems, including the addition of air conditioning
  • LED lighting upgrades
  • Ceiling replacements
  • Steam-hot water conversion
  • Interior door code upgrades
  • Water conservation

For more information about TEN’s projects, visit