Energy efficiency and conservation has been a concern in today’s culture. Global warming, energy security and fossil fuel depletion have people concerned about their consumption of energy. Lifestyle changes had to be made to become less energy dependent and more energy conscious. People have made personal changes to take their part in saving the planet but some may wonder if their contribution could really make a difference. In the education industry, the authority of the principal saves the world large chunks of energy every month.
School Principals are implementing new practices, making smart purchases and educating others to help save the planet. Can one person really make a difference? The earth and our environment has always been an important issue in our lives. One might wonder if their energy saving practices really affect energy efficiency. There are people who have the power to greatly impact energy use in their jurisdiction. Imagine saving $700,000 over the summer on the electric bill, that amount definitely makes an impact on energy conservation. Schools and school systems are major energy consuming entities.
School Principals make decisions and promote actions in schools that can really save energy use. Principal’s Authority School Principals play a key role in producing an energy efficient school. Her authority over school support and staff as well as decision making powers allow her to make choices that promote energy efficiency and conservation. As leader of the school, she can tell the faculty, staff and students to be more energy aware and turn off switches when they are finished using them; such as, coffee pots and lights in the lounge. Maintenance crews can be directed to take energy saving actions like turning off lights in empty rooms.
She can purchase energy saving items like low wattage light bulbs, automatic shut off lights and hand dryers and even solar panels. Purchasing power and directing authority give the school principal the opportunity to develop an energy conscious environment. Energy conservation advocates realize the decision making power and influence of the school principal. She has the authority to partner with Earth advocates to develop energy saving programs. Government programs and energy advocates seek approval of the school principal to include their school in programs to promote their cause.
School Districts are also aware of the Principal’s authority and are now holding them responsible for energy conservation in their site. These policies help the school district control the consumption of energy and ensure their role in energy conservation. Energy Conversation in Schools Today Today, School Principals are actively taking steps to create energy efficient schools. Dawn Lewis, principal of Ellis School in Fremont, New Hampshire is concerned about saving energy. Her school hallways have skylights. It brightened by the natural power of the sun.
She had low wattage light bulbs installed as well as motion detection lights; they stay on while there is motion in the room. She realized to waste of energy to destroy student records. With her staff, they could only shred three sheets at a time. She decided to hire a company that will shred it in a larger bulk and recycle the waste. She wants “to hand a cleaner world over to their students, and energy savings to their taxpaying parents” (Bailey, 2008). Dawn Lewis partnered with the Fremont Energy Committee and its own Go Green Committee to make Ellis School energy efficient.
Together, they accomplished more energy conservation and energy awareness. At Marion County Public Schools in Florida, energy efficiency is district-wide. They implemented an Energy Management department which makes principals accountable for “…energy management on his/her campus with energy audits being conducted and conservation program outlines being updated. Judicious use of the various energy systems of each campus will be the joint responsibility of the principal and head custodian to ensure that an efficient energy posture is maintained on a daily basis” (Marion County)
It further states that participation in the Energy Waste Management Program will affect the principal’s annual performance evaluation. These are just two examples of how public school systems are taking action on energy conservation. With more and more participants, an enormous amount of energy is saved. Conclusion School Principals have an active role in Energy Efficiency. Their influence, decisions and actions impact the cause greatly. With more and more schools and school districts joining the campaign to promote energy efficiency, our world could be saved from threats of global warming, energy security and fossil fuel depletion.
Saving the planet seems like such a huge task, how can one person make an impact? It takes individual efforts to conquer this task completely. One person really can make a difference.
References Sea Coast Online. 2008, October 17. Ellis School focuses on energy-efficiency. Retrieved on April 3, 2009 from http://www. seacoastonline. com/articles/20081017-NEWS-810170325 Marion County Public Schools. 2009. Energy Management Department. Retrieved on April 3, 2009 from http://www. marion. k12. fl. us/dept/ssp/emg/index. cfm.