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How teaching kids energy efficiency in schools can benefit families at home » Yale Climate Connections

What kids learn at school doesn’t stay at school.

So by teaching students about energy efficiency in the classroom, a nonprofit hopes to help families save energy — and money — at home.

“If I’m learning at school, ‘We need to turn off all the classroom lights when we walk out the door,’ I’m certainly, when I go home, going to say to my mom, ‘How come the lights in the kitchen or the hallway or the bathroom are on if we’re leaving the house?’” says Paula Glover, president of the Alliance to Save Energy.

The Alliance runs a K-to-12 energy education program used in hundreds of schools across 10 states.

Students learn about conserving energy and push for changes in their school buildings.

“So it’s things as simple as shutting down your classroom at the end of the day, taking light readings of the light levels in your classroom, and if you’re over-lighting the classroom, which is very often the case, turning on a half or a third whatever the appropriate level of lights in your classroom is,” says Scott Thach, who helped develop the program.

He says participating schools typically save five to 15% on energy bills, which can add up to thousands of dollars each year.

And young people’s enthusiasm about energy efficiency can ripple outward, so the impact multiplies.

Reporting credit: Sarah Kennedy/ChavoBart Digital Media

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