Energy conservation initiatives are behavioral changes that result in using less energy, such as turning down a thermostat or turning off the lights when not in use. Energy conservation should first be considered and implemented before energy efficiency or renewable energy projects are considered. On this page, you can find various energy conservation projects and initiatives you can start at your school in order to conserve energy.
Project Ideas and Resources
The Power Patrol is a student-run energy-monitoring program in which students monitor energy use in their school and leave reminders where lights and computers are left on, as well as thank you’s where everything is turned off. This is a great program for kids to learn responsibility while promoting energy conservation and saving the District valuable resources. This is an activity that students can do at any point during the year.
To learn more about the Power Patrol program, click here.
One of the best ways to relate energy conservation to the real world is to have students complete an energy audit of their school. Students collect data and do basic calculations to estimate total electricity use and cost for the school. Utilizing language and social science skills, students can then design an educational campaign or project to promote energy conservation at their school. They could also compete against a rival school.
To have students conduct their own Energy Audit, click here.
Plug Load Reduction
One of the biggest burdens on our schools' aging electrical systems are personal appliances such as refrigerators, microwaves, space heaters, and coffee makers. PPS requires employees to limit their personal appliances use to a desk lamp (with CFL or LED bulb), a personal fan, a clock and radio, and cellphone or headset chargers. Students can do a survey of their school to identify personal appliances and leave notes with the calculated amount of energy they are using.
Additional Energy Conservation Tips and Ideas
- Power down all appliances every night. Unplug devices to cut the electrical draw, or keep the devices plugged into power strips that you turn off each night. Think about computers, projectors, printers, TVs, coffee makers, microwaves, audio equipment, etc. If the item must remain plugged in, ensure that all energy savings power modes are activated. Identify someone to occasionally check how well you are doing.
- Turn lights off when not needed. Even for a short period of time.
- Teach with one bank of lights when there is sufficient daylight.
- Consider Delamping. Contact the Environmental Projects Coordinator to assess current light levels.
- Replace incandescent light bulbs with LEDs. For personal lamps, bulbs are the responsibility of the staff member.
- Periodically clean light bulbs and fixtures with a dry cloth. Make sure the lamps are cool before cleaning. Dirt and dust can reduce the amount of output from lamps by as much as 15% a year.
- Create a sustainability bulletin board. Include tips for conserving electricity.
- Use the school newsletter to generate excitement in the school community surrounding the conservation program.