Thursday, July 22, 2010

The Energy Hog...

is coming to our district in September. He will be at the Fall Community Fest at Prior Lake High School on Monday September 20th and will be available to schools and other events in the district September 7th  through 22nd. Please contact me to schedule an Energy Hog visit.

Go to for some great info and fun activites!

P.S. If you've ever wanted to be a mascot like T.C. Bear or Goldie Gopher, here's your chance.
I do need someone to don the costume at the Fall Fest so please contact me if you are interested, thanks!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Energy Questions

The previous post was in response to an inquiry I received regarding leaving the lights on when you leave a room for only a short time.

Do you have an energy-related question about energy efficiency at school or home?

Please send me an email with your question and if it gets posted on the Energy blog, I will send you a fun SEE prize.


Did you know???

Leaving fluorescent lights on when you leave an area is one of those myths from the '70s that has somehow survived to this date.
The energy needed to start a fluorescent lamp is not significantly higher than the energy needed to operate it. Even if we assume that a fluorescent lamp uses twice the normal amount of power during the starting phase, this phase lasts for only about 1 or 2 seconds so the crossover time to save energy would be less than 2 seconds. 
Another myth busted so flip the switch when you leave the room even if you will "be right back." All those "B R B" minutes do add up and will make a difference!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Today's Energy Thought

You can save energy and money with your car by applying these two simple maintenance strategies.
By regularly checking and replacing the air filter you can save $130 per year and by keeping the tires properly inflated you can experience an annual savings of $840.
Just another fun fact courtesy of SEE.

1st Quarter Results

We had a great first quarter with SEE which resulted in a 7% reduction in energy consumption throughout the entire school district. Translated into savings, the avoided costs for the first three months of 2010 equaled $32,782!

The first year of the SEE program is entitled EMPOWER and focused primarily on operations district-wide.  Some of the strategies applied in the buildings included scheduling and adjusting heating and cooling by zone and occupancy, de-lamping, and removing personal appliances. Although powering down was an essential part of year one, it was about much more than just turning off lights and electronics.

Stay tuned for more information on year two entitled ENGAGE as we work toward our goal of achieving a 10-percent reduction in annual energy use, work toward receiving ENERGY STAR® recognition from the EPA and engage students and staff in active participation with the SEE program.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Off to SEE Training

Director of Operations, Jim Dellwo, and myself are heading to St. Paul this week to attend a training conference for year two of the SEE program. We are very excited to learn about what all is in store for our district as we begin a second year of partnering with SEE. Stay tuned for highlights of the conference and previews of the Energy Saving Adventures awaiting our students and staff during the upcoming school year.

Monday, July 12, 2010

SEE End-of-School Year Training

Our SEE rep Amy held a training session in June with the head building custodians and the heads of  inside and outside maintenance. Some of the items Amy went over were procedures for saving energy during the summer months when most classrooms are not in use.

SEE has provided some great summer strategies for our custodial and maintenance staff in the district and in turn, they have been doing a terrific job reducing energy consumption and operating costs throughout the district. Thanks for doing your part!

Myth Busted!

One of the cool things about being an Energy Efficiency Coordinator is learning something new everyday about saving energy and money. With all the resources available through SEE, I am finding out about ways to save not only at school and at home but as with today's energy thought, about how to save gas.

MYTH:  It is better to let your vehicle idle than turn the engine off – turning the engine back on uses more fuel than idling.

FACT:  Idling uses more fuel than turning off your engine and restarting it. As a rule of thumb, turn off your engine if you will be idling for more than 30 seconds. David Champion, Senior Director of Auto Testing for Consumer Reports, told the Alliance to Save Energy, "You should not turn your engine off at a traffic light. However, if you are stuck at a train crossing or bridge opening, and it is likely you are going to be parked for a number of minutes, you should turn off your engine."

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Energy Thought for Today

Here's a quick fun fact courtesy of SEE...
Think about the five most frequently used light fixtures in your house.
By replacing your home’s five most frequently used light bulbs with models that have earned the ENERGY STAR label, a household can save more than 60 percent a year in energy costs.

Just your energy thought for today!