Schools are constantly looking for ways to reduce unnecessary costs so they can put the money they have to more rewarding uses. Of course, it helps to take into special consideration areas that suck up a lot of money, such as the electrical costs of school buildings. Making changes in this area may seem difficult, but there are many ways to significantly reduce the energy consumption of a building and thereby reduce costs.
Some tactics require a financial investment, such as installing solar panels or a building automation system. Both of these choices are great. Solar panels would save the school money when it comes to acquiring their energy, and a building automation system would provide unparalleled control over the energy consumption of the school. But it may not be possible to invest the money at the given moment, and one may desire a solution they can begin to implement right away.
It is very easy and beneficial to engage the students in these efforts. By getting them involved, students can be taught lessons in sustainability with a hands-on and problem-solving approach. One can start by implementing a student action team to ensure that lights and electronics are turned off in every room not in use. It is also wise to start changing light bulbs to LED light bulbs and choosing energy efficient appliances and electronics when the old ones wear out. During this stage, it helps to share the energy information one learns with students as well as to teach them to calculate the amount of energy used versus how much can be saved by implementing changes. As the students come to have a grasp of these ideas, it creates an amazing opportunity to encourage them to devise their own action plans and to search for problem areas. By getting them involved, it will teach them sustainable ideas and give them the confidence to take action by themselves in the rest of their lives.
Another option, that is fast, direct, and cost-effective, is to utilize an energy management software platform such as JadeTrack. This platform provides guidance and tools to make managing energy consumption much more efficient. JadeTrack has already been implemented in a school setting with great success. A school district reduced their energy consumption by 13% and saved more than $350,000 in the first year after using the program. That amount of money could be better used in many different applications.
Schools may utilize one of these ideas, or utilize all of them together, but most of all, it is important to get started today.