Friday, March 30, 2012

Spring Break Time!

Before you head out the door for an extended break, check to make sure you have shut down, turned off or unplugged any plug loads in your area, office or classroom. This includes but is not limited to:
  • Computer monitors and speakers
  • Smart-boards and overhead projectors
  • Clock radios and boom boxes
  • Copiers and printers
  • TVs, DVD players and VCRs
  • Audio and video recording equipment
  • Appliances in FACS rooms and staff lounges
  • Electronic equipment in Science labs and Art rooms
  • Electronic equipment in Industrial Tech and Auto Shops
  • Camera battery chargers
  • Microphone and two-way radio chargers
Thanks for doing your part to keep us operating as efficiently as possible during a time when the buildings are getting a break from the staff and students while you are taking some much deserved time off.

Have a safe, efficient and groovy Spring Break!

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Today's Energy Thought

Ever wonder how electric rates in Minnesota compare to other states around the country? How about which state has the lowest rates and which state has the highest? Or maybe which state uses the most kWh on average and which state uses the least?

According to the website Compare Electricity Rates, the average usage in Minnesota is 832 kWh and the average retail price in our state is 9.18 cents per kWh.

Hawaii is listed as having the most expensive rates with 24.12 cents per kWh and in the lower 48 states, Connecticut's rates are the highest at 19.11 cents. The lowest rates in the country are found in Idaho at 6.36 cents.

Our neighboring Wisconsin is among the lowest at 6.73 cents per kWh. However, Wisconsin's average use is 1,138 kWh so their average electric bill sits at $76.63 which is almost identical to Minnesota with $76.40.
Looking at the average amounts of kWh used by state, Tennessee tops out with 1,344 and Maine is on the bottom of the list with 530 kwh. Hawaii is also on the bottom end with an average of 655 kWh used but with the highest rates, their average electric bill is $158.02.

For the complete listing of all the states and the three statistics (average kWh used, average retail price and average electricity bill) click here. It is interesting to see how the states stack up and how some states are actually higher or lower than you may think they are when it comes to electricity rates and usage.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

It's Easy Being Green

Photo courtesy the Jim Henson Co.
Unlike our friend Kermit who laments it's not easy being green; living green, or eco/energy conscious is really not too difficult.

Here are the top five LIVE GREEN pledges
according to

  1. Maintain your air conditioner, keep the equipment clean and give the unit an annual tune-up.
  2. Use reuseable water bottles, this is not only good for the environment by eliminating plastic waste, it saves you money as well.
  3. Buy organic produce, check out a local farmer's market.
  4. Raise your air conditioner's temperature settings, the smaller the difference between outside and inside temperatures, the less the air conditioner has to work to cool the inside space.
  5. Program your thermostat for energy efficiency, if your thermostat isn't programmable, make manual adjustments when you leave and re-enter the house.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Today's Energy Thought

In light of rising gas prices, here is something to consider...

An extra 100 pounds of weight in your car will reduce your fuel economy by as much as 2%.  Remove roof racks when not in use and keep your trunk empty for a fuel efficient ride.

Friday, March 23, 2012


The 4th quarter and year end results are in and are you ready for some awesome numbers??? In just the last three months of 2011, Prior Lake Savage Area Schools saved/avoided $64,978.00! When you add it to the first three quarters, the year end total for 2011 is $239,989.00! 
Now, when you combine 2010 and 2011, the two years we have participated in the SEE program, the grand total is $439,353.00!!! That is almost a half million dollars saved/avoided since January 2010.
WOW! Keep up the excellent progress, everyone!

Today's Energy Thought

Photo courtesy of flickr from Yahoo!
A simple clothesline can save you about $80 in one year and approximately $508 over five years. In addition, you will also reduce CO2 emissions by about 1,247 pounds a year and around 6,235 pounds in five years. This is based on the average use of a clothes dryer to be four hours a week. I don't know about you, but many households may run their clothes dryer for four hours every day of the week.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Today's Energy Thought

As winter begins to fade away we start to see signs of life return and perhaps turn our thoughts to spring planting. While thinking about what to plant this year, consider landscaping for energy efficiency.
Planting trees, shrubs, vines, hedges and ground cover can be a cost-effective, esthetically pleasing way to reduce your energy consumption. Well-designed landscaping will also protect your home from the sun and can block out excessive noise as well.
One of the most cost-effective ways to reduce cooling costs is to shade windows from the sun. Landscaping can provide that shading, helping you reduce A/C costs and protect your home from harsh weather.

Here are a few benefits to consider:

  • Trees and bushes can block much of the sun’s heat before it hits your windows and walls.
  • Shade trees can significantly reduce surrounding air temps and the temperature in your attic. Trees, shrubs and ground cover can reduce the heat reflected from the ground up to your walls and windows.
  • Deciduous trees lose their leaves in winter, making them ideal to block the sun in summer while allowing the sun to warm your home in the winter.
  • Shrubs, bushes and vines provide year-round insulation by creating a dead air space next to your home.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Do you know?

Who said the following:

I think the environment should be put in the category of our national security.  Defense of our resources is just as important as defense abroad.  Otherwise what is there to defend?

A)  Arnold Schwarzenegger

B)  Al Gore

C)  Robert Redford

D)  Hillary Clinton

Bonus points if you know where and when this was said.
Scroll down to check your answer...

At the Yosemite National Park dedication in 1985, this was said by Robert Redford.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Today's Energy Thought

There is a song from the original Footloose movie entitled "Somebody's Eyes" and the main lyric is "Somebody's eyes are watching..." What does this have to do with energy? Whether you are a teacher with students, a parent with a child or children at home, or perhaps an upper grade student or an older sibling, somebody is always watching you. So today's energy thought is simply this:
Be a model of energy efficient behavior. Somebody's eyes are watching so set a good example of energy efficiency. It's not just about saving money, it's also about preserving this great big wonderful world in which we live. Be a good steward of our natural resources, be an Energy Rock Star.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Food for Thought

Eighteen percent of global greenhouse gas emissions are associated with raising, processing, packaging and shipping meat products for consumption. If every American substituted a vegetarian dish for a meat dish once a week, the carbon dioxide reduction would be equivalent to taking more than 500,000 cars off the road.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Today's Energy Thought

Thank you to Ann Arney at Class 5 Energy, the parent company of SEE, for a great insight into energy efficiency and the brain. Click here to read her interesting blog post.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Today's Energy Thought

Who said...
Almost every way we make electricity today, except for the emerging renewables and nuclear, puts out CO2.
And so, what we're going to have to do at a global scale, is create a new system. And so, we need energy miracles.

A)  Bill Gates

B)  Mark Zuckerberg

C)  Steve Jobs

D)  Warren Buffett

Scroll down to check your answer...

And the correct answer is Bill Gates.