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Did you know that lighting typically uses over 25% of the energy used in a school (U.S. Department of Energy)? A school-wide lighting retrofit is an easy way to save on electricity bills—the payback time from the decrease in energy costs is typically less than two years. But if a retrofit isn’t in the cards for your school, a good old-fashioned “Turn Out the Lights” campaign can go a long way. Your student green team and your excellent signage will forge the way, and a chat with your custodian will ensure you’re hitting all the bases.
- Find out how much your school spends on electricity and communicate this information to students, faculty, and staff.
- Put up signage that recognizes when the school has successfully lowered energy usage.
- Conduct a “Lights Out” campaign.
- Establish a leadership team and set clear goals for the campaign. How much energy do you want to save? How long will the campaign run for? Is it just in the school or does it translate to student households?
- Keep school occupants informed about the effect of the Lights Out Campaign. Knowing the concrete effect of their collective actions will motivate your colleagues and students.
- Contact your utility to see if there are lighting efficiency rebates available. Present a lighting retrofit proposal and energy/cost savings proposal to school or district administration.
- Check out Climate Generation’s Lights Out Day resources.
- Read the Environmental Protection Agency’s overview of a school’s energy use.
- Consider aligning with Earth Hour or a district-wide energy reduction competition to bring more attention to the matter.
- Read Alliance to Save Energy’s Energy Saving Tips.