Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Today's Energy Insight

Curbside recycling originated in what year...

A) 1858

B) 1874

C) 1891

D) 1902

AND in which city?

1) Baltimore

2) New York City

3) Richmond

4) Boston

Scroll down for the answer...

Curbside recycling originated in 1874 in Baltimore, Maryland.

Monday, March 30, 2015

Today's Energy Insight

Having trouble letting go of incandescent bulbs? Consider this option: add a dimmer switch. When simply dimming by just 10% you can more than double the life of the bulb and use less energy too. This is a good option for multi-bulb fixtures if you are not ready to say good-bye to the warm glow of incandescent bulbs just yet.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Today's Energy Insight

If copy machines could talk, I would have the ones with an Energy Saver option say "Press Me! Press Me! Please Press Me!"  It's so quick and easy to push the Energy Saver button when you are finished at the printer/copier and no one is waiting to use it after you. Try it today! Every effort, no matter how small, does add up to make an impact. Thanks for doing your part to make a difference!

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Today's Energy Insight

Here is the latest insight on LED (light-emitting diodes) technology from a recent VentureBeat post on the energy efficiency market in 2015...

In 2014, LED inventors won the Nobel Prize in physics. There is still a lot of value left in compact fluorescent (bulbs), but we will see a big leap to LEDs in the coming year as costs drop, quality and product diversity increase, and integration and innovation soar. We can expect to see more innovation in energy efficient lighting from companies like EarthTronics, Inc. and Precision-Paragon, which will also help cut energy consumption.

Click here to read the entire article which contains more information about LEDs and other technologies and also what is ahead for the field of energy efficiency in 2015.

Friday, March 20, 2015

Today's Energy Insight

As winter begins to fade away we start to see signs of life return and perhaps turn our thoughts to spring planting. While thinking about what to plant this year, consider landscaping for energy efficiency.

Planting trees, shrubs, vines, hedges and ground cover can be a cost-effective, esthetically pleasing way to reduce your energy consumption. Well-designed landscaping will also protect your home from the sun and can block out excessive noise as well.

One of the most cost-effective ways to reduce cooling costs is to shade windows from the sun. Landscaping can provide that shading, helping you reduce A/C costs and protect your home from harsh weather.

Here are a few benefits to consider:
  • Trees and bushes can block much of the sun’s heat before it hits your windows and walls.
  • Shade trees can significantly reduce surrounding air temps and the temperature in your attic. Trees, shrubs and ground cover can reduce the heat reflected from the ground up to your walls and windows.
  • Deciduous trees lose their leaves in winter, making them ideal to block the sun in summer while allowing the sun to warm your home in the winter.
  • Shrubs, bushes and vines provide year-round insulation by creating a dead air space next to your home.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Extra Extra!

Breaking News... 4th Quarter results are in and from October through December of 2014, the district reduced its overall energy use by a total of 5% resulting in a cost avoidance of $32,732.00. When you add in the other three quarters, the results for all of 2014 for the entire district were an overall energy reduction of 8.75%. When compared to the established baseline this shows a total cost avoidance savings of $114,765.00! WOW! Thanks for all of your combined efforts everyone, keep up the excellent work!

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Thank you to Energy Efficiency & Sustainability Consulting for the following timely post...
Don't Get Pinched! Go Green this St. Patrick's Day!

Go beyond the shamrocks, leprechauns and green beer this St. Patrick’s Day. There are plenty of ways to show your Irish spirit and benefit the planet at the same time.

This year, think about the environment to ensure that your Irish fun doesn't undo all of the positive impact you have made towards sustainability. Check out these top 5 tips for making your St. Patrick’s Day truly green. The planet will thank you!

1. Add native plants to your landscaping that attract birds, bees and butterflies.
2. Set up a recycling program at your office.
3. Purchase sustainable, organic green treats for your celebrations.
4. Add a layer of green clothing and turn down the heat a few degrees.
5. Add motion sensors to your lighting systems and don’t pay for energy you aren't using.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Spring Break!

Spring Break is just around the corner!

And Spring Break in our buildings is a great opportunity for saving energy! So before you head out the door for an extended break, please take a moment and check to make sure you have shut down, turned off or unplugged any plug loads in your area, office or classroom. This includes but is not limited to:

  • Computer monitors and speakers
  • Smart-boards and overhead projectors
  • Clock radios and boom boxes
  • Copiers and printers
  • TVs, DVD players and VCRs
  • Audio and video recording equipment
  • Appliances in FACS rooms and staff lounges
  • Electronic equipment in Science labs and Art rooms
  • Electronic equipment in Industrial Tech and Auto Shops
  • Camera battery chargers
  • Microphone and two-way radio chargers
Also be sure to close blinds and shades and look around for any opportunity to unplug over break. Thanks for doing your part to keep us operating as efficiently as possible during a time when the buildings are getting a break from the staff and students while you are taking some much deserved time off.

Have a safe, efficient and groovy Spring Break!

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Today's Energy Insight

More energy history...
For over 200 years, people in the U.S. have flocked to hot springs to get relief from the cold. In 1807, settlers founded the city of Hot Springs, Arkansas. 23 years after the city was founded, Asa Thompson charged $1 each for the use of three, spring-fed baths in wooden tubs thus resulting in the first known commercial use of geothermal energy.
(Source: U.S. Dept. of Energy)

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Today's Energy Insight

Unplug your chargers when you're not charging. Every classroom, office or home usually has lots of little plastic power supplies plugged in to charge cell phones, digital cameras, portable gaming devices, cordless tools, two way radios and many other electronics. Most of these chargers continually draw energy into the power supply even when a phone or device is not connected to the charger. This is referred to as phantom or vampire energy.
Some newer electronics are combating this with a message to unplug when fully charged or the transformer will turn off when charged. To test this, check if the power supply is warm to the touch which indicates energy is being consumed. I recently worked with students and we tested several transformers with a watt meter and found anywhere from 3 to 15 watts being drawn by these devices when not attached to an item for charging.

Monday, March 2, 2015

Today's Energy Insight

Unfortunately, you can’t always depend on motion sensors; so why not get in the habit of turning off the lights every time you leave an empty room or unoccupied area? Even if you will be right back, sometimes you get sidetracked or distracted and are away from your classroom or office longer than you intended (“oh look, there goes a shiny squirrel…”)

Every little effort, no matter how small, really does add up in a district our size and makes a difference.