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Power Down for Summer

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Numerous times during my classroom Energy Efficiency presentations, a student will comment, “Wow, imagine how much energy it takes to power the whole school!” It’s true, schools consume a lot of energy. Summer is a time of year when we can easily reduce how much energy is wasted as schools typically sit mostly empty for two months. Phantom power is a major culprit for wasted energy in schools during the summer months. Anything that continues running, has an indicator light, clock, or is an electronic device (ie. charger cables) draws power as long as it is plugged into an outlet.

It would take a custodian many hours to go around the whole school and make sure each classroom isn’t using any unnecessary power throughout the summer months. But if each class took a few minutes on the last day of school to power down their classroom and one other room, this task would be much easier! It also makes a fun activity for the last morning at school that reminds students to take everything they’ve learned about energy efficiency this year and apply it to the very end! Hopefully they will take the same steps to Power Down at home when their family heads off on a summer family vacation.

Here are some tips for powering down your school for the summer:

  • Unplug Chrome carts and tablet chargers
  • Unplug projector if possible
  • Unplug smart board and Mimio
  • Shut down all computers
  • Close windows
  • Unplug speakers
  • Turn down the heat if possible
  • Empty fridges and freezers, defrost and unplug
  • Unplug microwaves
  • Unplug non-refrigerated vending machines
  • Turn off lights
  • Close blinds
  • In family-studies rooms, unplug microwaves, toasters, and other appliances
  • In trades rooms, unplug power tools, battery chargers, and other equipment
  • In the staff room, unplug coffee machines, toasters, and microwaves
  • In the copy room, unplug photocopier, laminator, and printers

Check out our Power Down slideshow to get you started.

~ Shandel Brown

Engagement Officer, Cape Breton

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