Lights out

Marlin Elementary School’s Student Council, led by Rachel Melnick and Angela Harding, kicked off their first energy saving challenge this March. It is called “Lights Out.” Classrooms, as well as staff offices, are striving to flip their lights off when they can and optimize the use of natural light.

Student Council members have been running the challenge. They have been making “Lights Out” posters to post by light switches to serves as energy saving reminders. Second graders Elyssa  Moore and Nash Bruner show their posters in this photo.

 

LightsOut_Marlin_1

Students and staff are recording their minutes spent without the use of light bulbs. At the end of each week student council members calculate and announce the amount of energy saved.

While Marlin is focusing on working together to save as much energy as possible, there is a small competition between classrooms to see who can save the most. Many classes are really getting into it. Some classrooms have had students tape down the light switches and challenge themselves to use no lights at all!

If other schools are looking for an easy way to start promoting saving energy in their buildings, “Lights Out” is an easy way to get things rolling. It is as simple as announcing the challenge to the school and creating a tracking sheet for students and staff to record minutes of “Lights Out.”

If you would like more information about this challenge or resources to get your school started feel free to email Angela Harding at aharding@mccsc.edu.

The Education Committee for the Monroe County Energy Challenge is off to a bright start!

A community effort, the MCEC Education committee includes MCCSC Schools, Richland Beanblossom Schools, the Project School and Harmony School.

Pam CunninghamThird/fourth grade teacher Pam Cunningham in front of the Energy bulletin board at The Project School 

Marlin Elementary School teachers Angela Harding and Rachel Melnick started the Lights Out challenge, which teaches students math skills in addition to energy conservation. Now that spring is here and days are longer, classrooms, as well as staff offices, are striving to flip their lights off when they can and optimize the use of natural light.

Student Council members have been running the challenge, says Harding.

Students made “Lights Out” posters to post by light switches as energy-saving reminders. Students and staff record the minutes spent without the use of light bulbs. At the end of each week, student council members calculate and announce the amount of energy saved. While Marlin is focusing on working together to save as much energy as possible, there is a small competition between classrooms to see who can save the most.  Many classes are getting into the spirit. Some classrooms have had students tape down the light switches and challenge themselves to use no lights at all.

If other schools are looking for an easy way to start promoting saving energy in their buildings, “Lights Out” is an easy way to get things rolling, says Harding.  It is as simple as announcing the challenge to the school and creating a tracking sheet for students and staff to record minutes of “Lights Out.”

Schools play a vital part in the Energy Challenge.  School buildings are big users of electricity and gas, paid for by taxpayers.  Schools are also where our children learn about the world—and our world runs on electricity and gas.  Understanding energy is an important part of their education.  And when they come home? Your kids may even start turning out the lights when they leave the room, without you reminding them!

If you would like more information about this challenge or resources to get your school started feel free to email Angela Harding at aharding@mccsc.edu.

Earth Day with the Monroe County Energy Challenge and a Magical Popcorn Machine

Come out on Earth Day, April 22 and help the community win $5 million!  Stop by to take a pledge, take a photo, and eat delicious fresh popcorn while learning the secrets of saving energy at home and at work.

City Hall (401 N. Morton):  10am – 2pm
Utilities Building (600 E. Miller) : 2:30pm – 4pm

This event will be open-house style, so come by for whatever amount of time you like.

No need to RSVP!  Just come on by…

Opportunities to work with the MoCo Energy Challenge

The Energy Challenge has a number of opportunities to get involved.

  1. Apply for the MoCo Energy Challenge internship! Deadline extended to April 7, 2015.
  2. Become an Energy Ambassador.  We’ll provide a half-day training, and then ask you to commit 2-4 hours per month to help connect MoCo Energy Challenge to people throughout the county.
  3. Join one of our committees.  There’s Engagement, K-12 Education, Residential, and Data.

Email mocoenergychallenge@gmail.com for more information.

MCEC Launches Community Blog in the Herald Times!

The Monroe County Energy Challenge now has a Community Blog post at the Herald Times website! Follow the blog here.

Our first blog post is below:

 

Monroe County could win $5 million

Monroe County has a shot at winning $5 million.

All we have to do is save more energy than 49 other communities across the country.  That’s a 1-in-50 chance – better than any lottery you’ll ever find.

Here’s how it works:

Georgetown University has put up the $5 million Energy Prize and kicked off the two-year competition in January 2015.  That gives us until the end of 2016 to show what we can do – by saving energy (and money!) in local homes, government facilities, and K-12 schools

How will we know how we’re doing?  That’s the thing – there’s no way to fake it, because the information will come straight from our energy utilities.  Usage from all residential, government, and K-12 meters in Monroe County will be aggregated quarterly and compared to the 49 other communities competing.  The first report will come out in May, and we need help from households all over the county.

Start simple.  In April, change out a few lightbulbs for super-efficient (and mercury-free, and super-cheap at the Duke Energy Savings Store) LED bulbs.  In May, service your AC unit and clean your refrigerator coils.  We’ll share one task each month to help you save energy and money, and to help the community win $5 million.

Follow us here for frequent updates on the Challenge, and find more information on our website (www.mocoenergychallenge.org), on Facebook (www.facebook.com/mocoenergychallenge) or on Twitter (@mocoenergy).   We’re competing for $5 million and CHANGE.