EnergyTips

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It is important to be aware of what is consuming energy in your school! In the below graphs, take note that students and faculty can have a large impact on the energy consumed for office equipment, lighting, and cooling/heating.


Create an energy team at your school!
  • Find staff members who would enjoy working with a student-led energy team.
  • Find interested students by advertising the energy team and its goals.
  • Develop a marketing campaign  to raise awareness at your school (mascot, logo, slogan, posters, signs near light switches, partner with all faculty and students, partner with the facility manager and custodians, brainstorm any idea that can help your school meet its goals).
  •  Complete an energy audit of your school to identify areas that can be improved for electrical consumption, natural gas consumption, and even water consumption.
  • Research opportunities for private organization donations and partnerships (local and national stores, local and national non-profit organizations, federal organizations, etc).

Keep the lights off as much as possible!
  • Students can create their own light switch cover to remind people to turn it off: Template
  • Use light from windows when adequate. Natural light is free and can improve learning by 21%! Heschong Mahone, 2003
  • Use desk lighting instead of ceiling lighting when possible! Especially when only a teacher is in a room.
  • Have dedicated lights out times such as during lunch, special events, Earth Day (April 22), or Fridays.
  • Post flyers next to light switches stating how much it costs to turn it on and to please keep it off when unneeded.
  • Work with custodial staff to minimize the time lights are on in the evening and in the morning.
  • Report lights on during the day to the Facility Manager and Facility Maintenance.
  • Replace inefficient lights with more efficient types, even if the inefficient light is still working. See lighting replacement guide here: More info forthcoming
  • Any ideas to reduce electrical consumption from lighting are welcome. Feel free to contact Energy Management with ideas, suggestions, and requests for upgrades!

Office Equipment
  • Watch out for Vampire Loads! These are loads that you cannot see from items plugged into the wall that consume energy even when the device is not in use (phone chargers, TV's, DVD players, etc). To avoid Vampire Loads, unplug the device from the wall when not in use, or turn off the switch on a power strip.
  • Keep the computers and monitors off when not in use! Between classes, computers should be put to sleep and monitors turned off. Computers and monitors should be turned completely off at the end of each day. A computer and monitor can cost up to $80 (and use 800 kWh) per year when on for eight hours per day.
  • Avoid personal space heaters! These use electricity, which is much more costly than correcting building heating issues within a classroom. A 1,500 Watt space heater can cost $240 (and use 2,200 kWh)to operate six months at eight hours per day. If a room is too cold (lower than 70 degrees), please work with your Facility Manager to have the issue corrected and get rid of the space heater.
  • No personal fridges! Share central fridges to reduce the number of fridges in your school. Fridges can cost up to $200 (and use 2,600 kWh) per year to run. Calculate your fridge's cost per year here.
  • Setting refrigerator temperatures to 35-38 degrees and the freezer to 0-5 degrees will maximize efficiency.
  • Share coffee makers, microwaves, and toasters instead of bringing in personal ones.

Heating and Cooling
  • District temperature guidelines are no lower than 76 degrees during the summer and no higher than 70 degrees in the winter. If rooms are heated or cooled outside of guidelines, work with your Facility Manager to have this corrected. Rooms cooled one degree lower to 75 degrees can result in an 8% increase in cost. Rooms heated to one degree higher to 71 degrees can result in a 6% increase in cost. 
  • Keep thermostats free from objects so that they can accurately read the room temperature.
  • Keep heating and cooling equipment free from objects so that they can do their job and maintain a comfortable temperature.
  • Keep windows and doors to outside closed. Letting hot or cold air in from outside increases energy use and costs.
  • Close the blinds along windows each night and over breaks. This helps to reduce drafts from outside entering the room.
  • Check doors and windows for air leaks. Report issues to the Facility Manager.
  • Minimize the use of exhaust fans such as in kitchens and labs. These extract air to outdoors and either air conditioned or heated air must then be supplied to replace it.

Don't forget about water!
  • Watch sprinklers to make sure they are only watering grass and plants! If you see a sprinkler watering concrete, report it to your Facility Manager.
  • Watch sprinklers, toilets, and sinks for leaks and report issues to your Facility Manager.
  • Grass should not be watered to the point where it is overly-green.
  • Irrigation should follow rain patterns and should not occur on days where sufficient rainfall is seen.

Facility Manager Shutdown Checklists