In a matter of weeks, summer will end and kids will head back to school. For teachers and parents, planning for the upcoming school year involves shopping for supplies and organizing classrooms. One thing that might not be top of mind, though, is how to reduce electric energy consumption at home and at school. Virginia Energy Sense, the Commonwealth’s energy education program, has your back and is here to make energy efficiency a priority for teachers and families this school year. We’ve developed a list of tips and recommendations to guide your consumption habits. Energy Saving Tips for Teachers:
Shut down those devices – Computers left on overnight can increase your school’s energy use. At the end of the school day, have students contribute by shutting down their computers when not in use.
Be smart and use your blinds – Maximize natural lighting during the day by keeping your blinds open. You’ll keep the lights off and avoid unnecessary electricity consumption.
Swap out incandescent – LED light bulbs use less energy and last longer than traditional incandescent bulbs. Switching to them will boost your school’s energy savings.
Use your fans – Since hot air rises, run your classroom’s fans in reverse to circulate it back to floor level. This will make your room more comfortable and cut back your energy usage.
Incorporate energy efficiency into your lesson plans – With the assistance of the Virginia Department of Education, we’ve developed a teaching curriculum to help teach the Standards of Learning on energy usage. Visit our website to download the curriculum and encourage your students to save energy.
Energy Saving Tips for Families:
Turn off the lights – Place reminders near light switches to help your family members get in the habit of turning off lights when they leave the house.
Maintain your HVAC systems – Be sure to change your air filters on a regular basis to ensure your HVAC systems are running efficiently. You’ll also make your home a more comfortable place to live.
Plugged in with power strips – Plug in multiple devices, including your smartphones, TVs and computers to a power strip to easily turn everything off when not in use.
Install a programmable thermostat – Smart thermostats automatically raise or lower the temperature in your home based on your habits. Even cooler, you can control your home’s temperature from your smartphone.
Buy ENERGY STAR appliances – ENERGY STAR qualified products have the highest energy efficiency ratings, and your home could see long term savings by switching to them.
Getting back into the swing of things at school might be tough at first, but saving energy is an easy and cost efficient goal to take on. Visit our website at www.virginiaenergysense.org for more information on how to reduce your energy use and help Virginia meet its goal of reduced electric energy consumption.