If you think about it, schools can consume an extraordinary amount of energy. Whether it’s grade schools or college campuses, they are mostly inefficient in their overall use of energy and electricity. If you are an administrator or decision maker at the school you work at, we have some actionable recommendations and ideas on lowering your energy usage — and these concept can be put into place immediately.
Replace Old, Inefficient Light Fixtures
Chances are, the light fixtures in most schools have been in place since the American Revolutionary War. OK, so that was a facetious statement but it is a fact that most schools have not modernized their lighting since the school was originally built. Whether it’s in classrooms or hallways, the lights being used are the typical old-fashioned fluorescent tube style.
This older type is lighting is not very energy efficient. The most efficient lighting available today is LED technology. If schools were to switch from fluorescent tube lighting to LED, they would lower their energy consumption by 30%.
Consider Installing Occupancy Sensors
Even during normal operating hours, there are areas of the building that are completely empty. By installing occupancy sensors, the lights would automatically shut off when there is no movement — and turn on again when there is. The bottom line is, this would eliminate the need to turn on all-day lighting for a particular hallway that is only used a small portion of the day.
Make it a Point to Turn Off the Lights
As a school administrator, it should make you cringe when you walk by an empty classroom with the lights still on. This is a tremendous waste of energy and outside of technology (such as occupancy sensors mentioned above), this is a human issue. Make it a point to all staff members (and even the students) that they should be absolutely conscious of turning off lights when they are the last to leave a room.
Put Those Computers to Sleep
While there are many aspects of schools that are still old-fashioned, technology is not one of them. Many, if not most schools have a significant number of computers. Here are a couple of steps administrators can take to lower the energy costs generated by their computer labs.
Instead of using screen savers, always use the computer’ sleep function. And as the equipment is upgraded, be sure to purchase Energy Star rated equipment.
Who Needs a Hall Monitor? Let’s Start Using Energy Monitor
When it comes to saving energy on a school campus, school administrators and staff members can’t do it alone. Having kids help in the conservation effort is the perfect solution — and the process starts by empowering students with the title of “Energy Monitor.”
The primary focus of energy monitors will be to enforce some of the tips mentioned above like turning off lights, making sure all computers have the sleep function activated and more.
School boards and administrators need to start taking a serious look at conserving energy. Not only will it be good for the environment — but it will also save money that could be used for other important school resources.