Schools across the state are participating in Renew Our Schools, a six-week energy competition to get students and staff members excited about responsible energy use. Participating schools install electricity monitors to track real-time energy use. Students and staff then make energy-conscious behavioral modifications and can immediately see the impact of those changes.
So, what types of changes are we talking about? Small adjustments are all that’s needed to lead to big changes. Throughout the competition, students and staff are encouraged to:
- Turn off the lights more and use natural light as much as possible. Turning off the lights every time you leave the room can add up, even for a minute.
- Shut off computers and monitors when not in use. Putting a computer in sleep or standby mode whenever possible and powering it down at the end of the day can lead to real change.
- Minimize phantom loads, appliances that still use electricity when turned off, by unplugging all electronic devices that are rarely or never used. This might include plugging multiple devices into a power strip and toggling off the switch at the end of the day.
- Keep thermostats and vents free and clear. Electronic devices, appliances, and desks near a thermostat can obstruct the fresh air entering the room and the exhaustion of stale air.
- Close doors and windows to keep the heating and cooling systems operating efficiently. This deters drafts from the hallway and improves occupant comfort in the classroom.
These five small changes can create huge savings, as the participating schools are starting to understand. If your school district is interested in learning more about Renew Our Schools, visit focusonenergy.com/programs/k-12-schools to fill out an interest form. Applications are being accepted until March 31, 2022, for our Fall competition scheduled for October 3 to November 11, 2022.