Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Today's Energy Insight

As winter finally fades away (we hope) we start to see signs of life return and perhaps turn our thoughts to spring planting and new landscaping projects around the house. 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, aesthetically 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.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Today's Energy Insight

LOOK before you LEAVE...
Despite the chilly weather outside, Spring Break is right around the corner. This is just a friendly reminder to take a quick LOOK around your classroom, office or building area before you LEAVE for anything that can be turned off or powered down. You may not think your efforts matter much but every time you power down, it really adds up with over 1,800 staff throughout our district. You DO make a difference!
Have a fun, safe and energy efficient Spring Break!

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Today's Energy Insight

What solution is said to have the potential to provide 57 percent of the needed carbon cuts by 2030?

A)              Space-based solar systems
B)               Energy efficiency
C)               Carbon capture and storage
D)              Nanotechnology

The International Energy Agency's scenario for stabilizing the atmospheric concentration of carbon dioxide at 450 parts per million would get a 57 percent decrease overall from energy efficiency gains.

So let’s continue being as energy efficient as possible to save our planet!

Monday, March 13, 2017

Today's Energy Insight

Daylight Saving Time (DST) is used to save energy and make better use of daylight. Here are a few interesting notes about the bi-annual changing of our clocks.
  • Long before DST was established in the US, Benjamin Franklin wrote an essay called “An Economical Project for Diminishing the Cost of Light” to the editor of The Journal of Paris in 1784. In the essay, he suggested, although jokingly, that Parisians could economize candle usage by getting people out of bed earlier in the morning, making use of the natural morning light instead.
  • In the US, “Fast Time” as it was called then, was first introduced in 1918 when President Woodrow Wilson signed it into law to support the war effort during WW I. The initiative was sparked by Robert Garland, a Pittsburgh industrialist who had encountered the idea in the UK. Today he is often called the “Father of Daylight Saving."
  • From 1945 to 1966 there were no uniform rules for DST in the US and it caused widespread confusion especially for trains, buses, and the broadcasting industry. As a result, the Uniform Time Act of 1966 was established by Congress. It stated that DST would begin on the last Sunday of April and end on the last Sunday of October. However, states still had the ability to be exempt from DST by passing a state ordinance.
  • The US Congress extended DST to a period of ten months in 1974 and eight months in 1975, in hopes to save energy following the 1973 oil embargo. The trial period showed that DST saved the energy equivalent of 10,000 barrels of oil each day, but DST still proved to be controversial. Many complained that the dark winter mornings endangered the lives of children going to school.
  • After the energy crisis was over in 1976, the DST schedule in the US was revised several times throughout the years. From 1987 to 2006, the country observed DST for about seven months each year. The current schedule was introduced in 2007 and follows the Energy Policy Act of 2005, which extended the period by about one month.
  • Daylight Saving Time is now in use in over 70 countries worldwide and affects over a billion people every year. The beginning and end dates vary from one country to another. In 1996, the European Union (EU) standardized an EU-wide DST schedule, which runs from the last Sunday in March to the last Sunday in October. Today in the US, DST starts on the second Sunday in March and ends on the first Sunday in November.         Source: timeanddate.com