Keys To Wise Use of Energy

Saving energy doesn't mean putting on a jacket and sitting in the dark. It does mean using energy when you need it and not when you don't. Paying attention to the energy we use not only saves money but can actually improve the building environment in which we work and learn. Here are the top nine school recommendations to save energy.

1. Turn Lights Off in Unoccupied Spaces

The statement, "It takes more energy to turn off a fluorescent light than it does to keep it on", is a common myth. The fact is, the energy it takes to start a fluorescent lamp is negligible compared to the energy used to power the lamp over time. If you leave a room vacant for more than 5 minutes, it is always cost effective to turn out the lights.

2. Turn Monitors Off When Not in Use & Shut Computers Down at Night

Because technology has become a large part of our electric bill, it is important that everyone understands how to operate this equipment efficiently. Energy consumption from computers and peripherals is directly related to the length of time they are on, regardless of whether or not they are being used.

3. Let the Sun Shine in

Not only is daylight a free source of lighting, the sun's rays connect us to life, give us energy, and make us feel good. Diffused daylight has been shown to improve student test scores. Open your blinds to let daylight into a room. Shut off lights that are near windows and skylights. Evenings and weekends - pull the blinds to buffer the room from heat or cold.

4. Recycling Saves Energy

3 R's: "Reduce, Reuse, Recycle" Recycling saves space in our landfill. Our mixed paper recycling efforts for school year 99-00 = 386 Tons of recycled paper and 5903 pounds of tin from Food & Nutrition Services.

5. Heat Offices & Classrooms to 71ºF

Everyone's comfort level is different. However, the standard recommended heating set point is 71ºF. Areas with infrequent or high-volume occupancy, such as hallways and cafeterias, can typically be maintained at lower temperatures. For efficiency as well as safety, keep books and other materials away from all heating vents.

6. Keep Doors and Windows Closed

Although it is convenient to prop outside doors open during transitions periods, an open door will make the heating/cooling system work much harder. Likewise, an open window will not only waste conditioned air, but will often short circuit the heating/cooling system. The thermostat thinks it needs to heat/cool the room, even though the air is going out the window. Thermostats are calibrated to monitor an enclosed space.

7. Water is a Precious Resources

If water is being wasted, please report it. We pay twice for every metered drop -- once for the water and then again for every gallon that runs into the sewer.

8. Use Student Assistants as Energy Eyes

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.

9. Our Rate of Consumption is Worth Noting

Often it is not until one is faced with a visual representation of the rate with which we are using our resources that we can begin to appreciate our impact.