Sustain DCSD Earth Week Celebration

Day 2: Energy

Big image
DCSD Celebrates Earth Week: Energy Conservation at Rock Canyon High School
A HUGE thank you to Nate Jones, Multimedia Producer, and the Communications Department for creating these incredible videos for us this week. Nate, you rock!

It's Everywhere

Almost everything we touch has a relationship with energy. From our plastic toothbrush to the pen we write with to the car we drive...all of these things take energy to make. We often only think of energy as turning on a light or plugging in our computer, but once we realized how much of our “stuff” is using these finite resources we start to see things differently.

In our Operations and Maintenance Department we are starting to see things differently, too. We have a newly formed Energy Management Team comprised of Sustainability, Electrical, HVAC, Controls and Planning & Construction staff. We bring this group together to focus on the performance of our equipment and plan for future purchasing.

We have 11 schools on interval data. What is interval data? We see how energy is being used every 15 minutes at the school. This helps us understand how well our equipment is working and identify it early when it’s not!

Where Two Worlds Collide

One of our enthusiastic electricians, Glenn Kirby, has worked with several classes to teach them about the different types of lighting. We think it’s important for our operations staff to be part of the education process as a way to connect with the “why” of DCSD...the students!

We also enjoy having him join us when teaching students about sustainability because the students engage in real-world learning and problem-solving. It has been a phenomenal partnership between school and support staff at the district. Moreover, our Electrical Lead, Neil Austin, has been pivotal in gathering pricing and material information for the proposed LED project at Rock Canyon High School. This project was originally proposed 4 years ago by a student. This year, the sister of the original proposer is now able to see it through to the end! Rock Canyon was able to change their gym lights to LED this past Spring Break, saving the school thousands of dollars over the life of the project and projected to payback within 4 years.

Food for Thought

So next time you wake up and get ready for the day- think about all the things you use that need energy to make them or run them. Think about what we can do as a community to come together and lessen the load. Some tips are:

  1. Unplug items when not in use, especially before weekends and breaks! Devices continue to pull energy when they are plugged in even if they are turned off. These are what we call energy vampires.
  2. Turn computers off at the end of the day and put them into sleep mode when you are not using them. For laptop charging carts, consider setting a timer for a few hours of charging rather than charging them all night. These are huge energy hogs at schools!
  3. Energy audits can help your students identify problem areas and develop an action plan. The Office of Sustainability has light meters and e-meters you can "check out" to help you conduct your energy audit.