Many schools are outdated and have appliances and fixtures that use high levels of electricity to operate. Lighting, appliances and HVAC systems make up the building operations that use about 75% of the energy Americans consume every year. Finding alternative, more energy-efficient products is necessary to conserve electricity.
Although not always the most sustainable option, revamping school appliances and fixtures might be the best alternative for going green when it comes to energy efficiency. However, regular maintenance and inspection of both new and existing facilities are necessary for the highest efficiency.
Energy Star appliances. When purchasing new appliances for the school kitchen, offices or classrooms, look for Energy Star Appliances, which utilize less electricity than conventional, outdated products.
CFLs or LEDs. Use Compact Fluorescent Light (CFL) bulbs in regular light fixtures. They use much less energy and last considerably longer than incandescent light bulbs. Light-Emitting Diodes (LEDs) are the next stage in the evolution of energy-efficient lighting. LEDs contain no mercury, last longer than CFLs, can focus light on specific areas, and produce more light-per-watt than incandescent bulbs.
Motion sensors or timed lighting. Use lighting fixtures that turn on only when someone walks into a room and turns off when they exit. Another alternative is timed lighting, which automatically turns the light off after a given period of time.
Alternative heating and cooling methods. Use natural ventilation, space heaters, operable windows, fans, and geothermal and water furnaces instead of energy-intensive HVAC systems.
On-site electricity. Budget permitting, a campus could benefit greatly from installing solar panels or wind generators to harvest green energy for the school. This will lead to less utilities required from the city
Education. Inform students, staff and faculty of the importance and ease of electricity conservation. Provide incentives or projects for students and staff.