The “Summer Unplugged” program aims to eliminate energy waste and utility spending across the DCPS portfolio. DCPS spends over $30 million annually on energy and about $4 million during the months of July and August, when occupancy is lowest. Principals, custodians, teachers, building engineers and students can all play important roles in powering down their schools during the summer months. The program is expected to result in numerous befits to the city, particularly in the following areas:
· Significant costs saving opportunity: By practicing good energy behaviors and optimizing air conditioning around occupancy, the average school can save between 10-30 percent on its bills. That’s a ton of money!
· City mandates: The Healthy Schools Act requires that energy consumption be reduced by 20% at all DCPS schools by August 2015. We need you help to meet this requirement!
· Health and environmental benefits: Pollution from fossil-fuel power plants is linked to higher incidents of asthma attacks and other lower and upper respiratory illnesses in children. Reducing energy use is one way to improve air quality during summer months when it is at its worst.
3 easy ways to reduce energy use:
· #1: Tailor cooling schedules for summer occupancy: A building should only be air conditioned when it is occupied. Tightening HVAC schedules can cut expensive summer electricity bills by over 20 percent.
· #2: Reduce plug load: Plug load refers to electricity used by appliances that are plugged into electric power sockets, such as office equipment, lamps, vending machines, water fountains and kitchen appliances.
· #3: Turn off the lights: With the exception of safety lighting, lights should always be turned off when the building is unoccupied.