The HCMS Energy Team has been busy the last two months educating our staff and students about energy efficiency and conservation practices within our school. Even though our team is small, we have taken on a huge task of achieving the two goals we set:
- To replace all incandescent light bulbs used in the classrooms with CFL bulbs to promote energy efficiency.
- To change practices of staff and students to reduce the amount of energy being wasted in our school.
After collecting and analyzing data from room observations on types of appliances and how often they were used, 25 incandescent light bulbs from floor and desk lamps in classrooms were replaced with more energy efficient CFL bulbs. These bulbs were donated Kentucky Utilities with the help of Sherman Adams, our district’s energy/systems manager. By replacing the older bulbs with more efficient CFL bulbs, we can save our school approximately $200 a year! We also unplugged appliances within the rooms that were not being used on a regular basis.
Results from data collected during our first observations of rooms when they were unoccupied showed that lights were left on and doors were open in 65% or more of the classrooms. To help promote better conservation practices, team members developed checklists and placed them by every door to remind staff and students about turning off appliances when not in use. An Energy Team bulletin board and public service announcements during the Principal’s morning announcements helped educate staff and students about energy conservation practices at school and home. The team members continued to survey unoccupied rooms at least twice a week. Prizes and awards were given each week to staff members who showed the best behaviors for conserving energy and/or showed the most improvement. Students who helped conserve energy were entered into weekly drawings for prizes as well.
As a result, final observations taken within the last two weeks of the project showed only 37.5% of the time did unoccupied rooms around the school have the lights on and 36% of the time was the door open. Online survey results also show that 78% of the staff surveyed said they had changed habits to help our school save energy in the last 2 months. Also, 75% of the staff members witnessed students helping save energy. Based on data collected from observations and staff surveys, we think our project is a success!