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Financial concerns help improve energy efficiency

Financial concerns help improve energy efficiency

By Carson Stout & Jessica Demas

Spending just over six billion dollars on annual energy use in schools, local schools are trying to save extra money by reducing the amount of energy used. By trying to reduce the amount of energy used, the school in turn becomes energy efficient.

“The average school uses 22 kwh per square foot each year, and last year PGHS used 2,000,000 kwh,” Dominion Power employee Johnny Harris said.

The high school was the first school to start using energy saving techniques. Soon after, other schools in the county started to use the same techniques to start saving on energy costs.

“The high school is like a hub, if one school does it, so will the next, thus reducing the overall cost. I do believe it saves more than people think.,” Vice Principal Joe McDaniels said.

In the beginning of every year, teachers are reminded of the little things that can make a big difference in the cost of energy. A few ways to help conserve energy throughout the school would be to turn off lamps, keep the windows closed, and unplugging things that are not in use.

“We try to keep a few computers off in the library but there is not much we can do about the lighting,” ITRT Stephanie Poe said. “Otherwise we would be sitting in the dark all day.”

Some of the bigger energy wasters are typically the smaller things no body thinks of.

“Refrigerators, microwaves, even coffee machines take a lot of power just to run, that’s why we do not allow teachers, other than a select few, to have them in the classrooms, McDaniels said.

Not only are schools trying to save money, but they are trying to make it greener for everyone else as well.

“It is mainly due to the growing bills over the past few years, but we try to conserve energy as well because it helps the environment along the way,” McDaniels said.

By switching to fluorescent light bulbs, the school has saved over 461 pounds of carbon dioxide from being released into the air.

On average, power plants produce 2.6 billion pounds of carbon per year out into the open air. Trying to help reduce that number, people around the world, including some at our school make sure to do their part.

“I do many things around the house to help conserve energy, like recycle, turning off my laptop and taking 15 minute showers,” sophomore Taylor Uranga said.

Although the school tries to help out the growing budget concern, the rules are typically not reinforced.

“We do not really need to have the rules enforced much because we have automatic stand-by lights that cut off when no one is in the room, and our computers are typically in sleep mode, but they could do something about the heating,” Poe said.

Students often comment on how temperatures vary from classroom to classroom, and believe it should be a constant throughout the school.

“It is always cold in one class then you get to another and your burning up. I bet they would save money if they tried to moderate the temperature,” Uranga said.

In the winter it takes nearly 30% more energy to run a school due to the increase in the need for heat. Some classrooms are less ventilated and are typically hotter verses the classrooms that have windows because it allows cold air to seep through.

“By help of stand-by monitors, fluorescent lighting, unplugging computers and the lack of coffee makers throughout the school, we have saved thousands in money and reduced environmental damages in just our school alone,” McDaniels said.

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  • L

    Lucas BaileyMar 11, 2011 at 9:41 pm

    I am glad the schools are making an effort to save energy and lower costs. it is not only good that the schools are helping the planet, but they are also saving money, which can be used for more worthy causes.

  • J

    Josh KentMar 4, 2011 at 7:31 pm

    I never actually considered how much energy a building such as a school uses. It’s crazy to think about. All of the lit up class roms and what not. I’m glad to hear taht Prince Goerge high School is helping make the world a little bit greener by being conservation minded in relation to energy use.

  • J

    Joseph PervallMar 4, 2011 at 7:07 pm

    I feel that our school does a good job of conserving electricity and staying “green.” Most teachers have recycling boxes, teachers typically turn their lights off when they leave the room, and projectors are generally turned off when not in use. If all schools were like this then it would make a pretty decent impact.

  • H

    Haseena Abdur-RahmanMar 4, 2011 at 9:56 am

    I like the fact that not only are schools trying to save money, but they are trying to make it greener for everyboby too. The way that both teachers and student are so concerned on the enviroment and making the school more efficient can really inspire students to improve their lifestyles as well.

  • D

    Diana O.Mar 4, 2011 at 8:47 am

    This article relates to our daily society. People have to come to the conclusion that what we do today affects us tomorrow. The article did a great in showing us how to improve our lives and save money. This will not only help us locally and nationally but globally.

  • C

    Cara LucyMar 4, 2011 at 8:21 am

    I think this article is good because it relates to issues we are dealing with today. People need to realize that turning off one simple electronic can save so much energy. We need to conserve energy and try to save the earth. I think a good way to start conserving energy would be at school.

  • R

    Rachel WaymackMar 4, 2011 at 7:04 am

    This was a good idea for a story since we are currently in a down economy and are always looking for ways to save extra money. This story also did a good job of showing where some of the money spent on energy in the school goes and how we could save some of that money.

  • R

    Raya GirardMar 3, 2011 at 6:18 pm

    There are so many small things that we all can do to reduce the amount of electricity we use. Sometimes I think that people feel like one little appliance doesn’t make a big difference, but we should realize that those small things really add up. Even with all the awareness of global warming and the condition of our economy people still don’t think globally.