As school tech gobbles up more power, schools learn to conserve energy in other areas
- Up-to-date technology demands power, but District Administration reports that some school districts, like the Huntley Community School District near Chicago, are finding other ways to save power and money such as shifting from computer labs to laptops, reducing classroom illumination, installing digital climate controls, and combining access points to increase Wi-Fi efficiency.
- The Santa Paula Unified School District in California used state and federal grants and loans to increase energy efficiency by switching to LED bulbs and installing new digital thermostats and online monitoring software.
- Other school districts have found energy savings through strategies such as consolidating facilities, replacing individual desktop printers with fewer commercial-grade printers (which also cut ink costs), and using solar power to meet energy needs.
Between the rising cost of electricity in many areas and the rising demand for power by tech devices, schools are often forced to make critical cuts to staff and instructional programs to meet power needs. However, many schools are also finding ways to take advantage of recent technologies such as digital climate controls, motion sensor lights, improved LED bulbs, solar panels and other strategies to harvest energy savings. The money saved can be enough to offset increased costs and demand for energy and perhaps leave funds for other school needs.
Finding these energy savings not only benefits schools financially, but also impacts the environment by making schools greener. Schools can also use this as an opportunity to get students involved, perhaps by teaching them about energy efficiency and then asking for their input in coming up with strategies to improve energy savings at schools.
Many power companies offer curriculum help in these areas and some may even be willing to come up with grant funding to improve school energy efficiency, especially if students are involved in the process. Students, in turn, can share these ideas with their own families use these same practices as they get older.
- District Administration Schools harness learning power