President Obama has declared October 2015 Energy Action Month. As our country’s energy needs increase, it is important to take time this month to educate ourselves and our students about energy. Committing to reducing consumption and supporting clean, renewable, and independent sources of energy production is key to ensuring we have reliable energy that won’t harm the environment.
The good news is individuals can have a major impact on the conservation of energy resources. Using efficient appliances, taking precautions to reduce energy waste at home or school, and changing energy usage behaviors all start with knowledge. Take advantage of the following resources to help your students become smart about energy and advocate for a clean energy future.
Take a Field Trip
Visit a local power company where students can connect classroom concepts with the real world. If you are in Illinois, check out Field Trip Factory’s trips to ComEd’s Discovery Lab in Rockford. Field trips explore smart meters, energy safety, energy efficiency, and the manner in which electricity is safely and continuously delivered.
Locate Tips and Classroom Materials on Your Local Energy Company’s Website
Many utility companies provide practical tips for saving energy and money on their websites. You should easily be able to find numerous ways to reduce energy consumption. Here are a few tips to share with students to follow at home or school.
- Lights Out – Always turn the lights off when you are the last one leaving a room.
- Wear a Sweater/Sweatshirt – When you are cold at home, put on a sweater or sweatshirt instead of turning up the heat.
- Turn It Off and Unplug – Power down electrical devices including the TV, computers, and game consoles when you are done using them. Many of these devices use energy even when they are turned off. Consider unplugging them or plugging them into a power strip and turning the strip off. Unplug charging devices, such as tablets and smart phones, after you have a full charge.
You may also be able to access classroom materials and online games and videos on a utility’s website to educate students about energy efficiency, clean energy, and safety.
- In Illinois, ComEd, Nicor Gas, Peoples Gas and North Shore Gas have partnered to offer teachers a FREE energy efficiency curriculum and other resources. Students will receive a free take-home kit that includes energy-saving products to install at home that result in electricity, natural gas and water savings. Go to the ComEd website to enroll.
- In the New England area, Eversource provides hands-on curriculum kits to help educators teach about energy in a unique and exciting way. Check out the Eversource website for more information.
- California’s Pacific Power also offers access to energy lesson plans and energy efficiency presentations for teachers and students. Go to the Pacific Power webpage for more information.
Participate in Community Programs
ComEd, Eversource, Austin Energy, and Xcel Energy are just a few of the utility companies across the United States that participate in community events throughout their service areas to educate residents and students about a variety of energy-related topics. Check out your local utility’s website and click on their Community or Education pages to search for information about local events or speakers.