Energy Savings in Our Schools

As an educational institution, the Boise School District has the responsibility to our students and to the public that supports our schools to be good stewards of all our resources. Here are some of the most obvious reasons for conserving energy, using water wisely and for reducing waste.

  • Conservation saves money - Money not spent on utilities can be spent in classrooms education students.
  • Our tax supported schools have the responsibility of being run as efficiently as possible.
  • When we conserve energy and water and reduce solid waste, we help reduce and prevent environmental damage.
  • By educating students about the link between conservation and the environment, we encourage and empower them to play an important role in determining their future. Students need to understand that they can make a difference, and it's our responsibility to show them how.
  • As our population continues to grow and the demand for energy and natural resources increases, the cost of utilities will increase as will the cost of inefficiencies. Supply will not always meet our demand. We may not have choices regarding our resource consumption. In the future we may be required to curtail our energy and resource use with little notice - crisis management is not a good position to be in.

Suggestions to Reduce Energy Use

The following are suggestions that school staff can do to reduce energy use:

  • Lighting
    • Turn OFF lights when out of your classroom or office. Also turn off lights in unused common areas such as work rooms, copy rooms, teachers' lounge, conference room, and restrooms.
    • Turn OFF all lights at night, including task, office and classroom lights.
    • Turn OFF lights near windows when daylight is adequate.
    • Many areas are lit more than necessary for their present use. Only use lights that are necessary for tasks being performed.
    • Don't turn it on until needed
    • 25-30% of electricity is used for lighting.
    • Heat generated from inefficient lighting, computers and other office equipment increases the interior temperature of a building thus increasing air conditioning costs.
  • Heating & Cooling
    • In cold weather, dress warmly and in layers that can be adjusted for optimal comfort.
    • Sitting close to a window during the cloudy winter can make you feel cold. If so, close blinds or shades or move further from the window.
    • In the winter, close blinds at the end of the day to cut down on heat loss. On warm, sunny days close blinds during the day to avoid the heat gain of direct sunlight.
    • Close all curtains, shades, and blinds at the end of the day to create a buffer from the exterior overnight cold or heat.
    • Keep you classroom or office door closed during the day to allow the thermostat to work properly.
    • The District HVAC foreman recommends:
      a.74º - thermostat setting for heat with ± 2º
      b.80º - thermostat setting for AC with ± 2º
  • Computer
    • Turn on each piece of equipment only when it is needed.
    • Turn OFF the entire computer when you go to lunch or will be out of the classroom for a meeting.
    • Activate the sleep mode for a 15-minute shut down time period.
    • The energy saver powers your computer down from 300 Watts to 30 Watts when inactive.
    • Shut your computer OFF when it is not in use.
    • Turn OFF your computer in the evening and on weekends.
    • Laptop computers use 15 to 25 W a standard computer/monitor uses 300W.
  • Monitors
    • Do not turn on your monitor until you need to use it.
    • Turn OFF your monitor when it is not in use. That pretty screen saver does not save energy.
    • Turn off the monitor between jobs.
    • A blank screen saves energy, screen savers do not save energy. The sleep mode is the next best energy saving device. The reduction is from 300W to 30W. Turning OFF the monitor, when idle, is best.
    • Activating the 15 minute sleep interval mode will save $10-$15 per year per monitor.
  • Printers
    • Don't turn on your printer until it is needed.
    • Use the "print preview" option to find errors before printing. Before printing in color, make a black and white copy to edit.
    • Laser printers require more energy than inkjet printers.
    • Use the power save mode.
    • A printer that will print on both sides of the page saves paper.
  • Fax Machines
    • Reuse one-sided office paper in the fax machine.
    • Use Post-its to save a cover sheet.
    • Deactivate the confirmation page usually generated after a fax is sent.
  • Copy Machines
    • Enable the energy saver feature.
    • Use duplexing thus saving paper.
    • Turn OFF copy machines at night and on weekends.
    • Batch your copying jobs.
  • Recycling
    • Recycling saves energy.
    • Recycling saves space in our landfill.
    • Our recycling is classified as Mixed Paper. Put all your office paper, except Astrobright, food contaminated paper and tissues in recycling. Envelopes, notes, brochures, magazines, cardboard all go into recycling.
  • Student Assistants
    • Enlist the help of your students as Watt Watchers, Computer Corp, Light Monitors, Recycling Agents. You'll be amazed at how vigilant and conscientious young people are.
    • Our modeling of the wise use of resources is being observed and imitated by our students.

Thank you for making every utility dollar spent an investment in education.

Last Updated: 4/8/14