Schools compete to reduce energy usage

March 26, 2009 7:39:35 PM PDT
Two San Francisco schools competed against each other Thursday for the title of "the biggest loser." But rather than reduce their weight, the schools were trying to reduce their energy consumption.

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At noon, the race to save energy began by turning off the lights in the classroom, in the computer lab and in the hallways.

Teachers did their part by not using the microwave, eating sandwiches instead.

Students from Alice Fong Yu and George Peabody elementary challenged each other to see which school would do the best job at reducing their use of energy. PG&E should have the results on Friday.

"What we are trying to do is use the meter to try to figure out how much energy the school uses normally and how much it uses during this competition," San Francisco Unified School District spokesperson Nick Kaestner said.

Thursday's competition occurred two days before the Earth Hour campaign. People all over the Bay area are being asked to turn off their lights this Saturday between 8:30 and 9:30 p.m.

The goal is to teach these students about energy conservation so that they can take the message home.

"You have your phone chargers in, you have computers in, you have all your electronics plugged in and you don't realize that that is using up a lot of energy as well," student Liliana Ascencio said.

"Our parents grew up in a very different word and they have to get used to it where we were raised thinking about conserving energy, so I think it's important to remind our parents about stuff like that. ")) student Natalie Mogg said.

During the competition, the school district discovered there are lights which stay on even during the day.

"One of the things that came out of this is that we are working with the World Wide Fund to audit all of our schools and to identify areas where the lights are left on so we can install lighting sensors for next year," Kaestner said.

They are betting one hour without power will be enough to raise awareness.

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