According to The Daily Reporter, five Virginia schools have been recognized for their energy efficient environmental awareness.
The U.S. Department of Education has concluded that the following schools have taken a strong initiative toward increasing energy efficiency in their districts:
- Coles Elementary School in Manassas
- Crozet Elementary School in Crozet
- Bassett High School in Bassett
- The Steward School in Richmond
- The University of Virginia in Charlottesville
The University received a postsecondary sustainability award as well.
Schools spend more money on energy than any other expense except personnel ones. In addition, energy is one of the few aspects a school can reduce without having to sacrifice quality or education standards.
There are numerous ways a school can become more energy efficient. Some of these include:
- Changing the heating and cooling settings based on the actual weather can help keep classrooms comfortable and systems from using a lot of energy.
- Teaching students the benefits of energy efficiency, which can lead to more efficient practices at home and other life aspects.
- Lighting is one of the biggest energy consumers in schools. Turn off the lights if a classroom is not in use or install occupancy sensors that will do it for you. This may be a costly choice in the beginning but can lead to a lower electricity bill in the long run.
- Stop the dripping water. Even small drips of water can waste money and energy. Keep faucet nozzles tight and working, and consider more energy efficient changes such as sensors or automatic sinks.
- Using alternative forms of fuel to power buses and other modes of transportation.