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High School Energy Audit


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Keywords: audit, energy
Subject(s): Physics, Science
Grades 9 through 12
School: Testing School, North Thetford, VT
Planned By: Polly Davis
Original Author: Polly Davis, Sunderland
By Chuck Wagner

Welcome to a new way of learning science. In this course you will be asked to work as a member of a student team conducting an energy audit of your high school. You will take scientific measurements, question school staff, and obtain various kinds of information related to how your school uses energy. As you finish each investigation, you will write a scientific report with graphs and recommendations and present it to school officials. Your team's recommendations will cost the school little or no money and, if acted upon, will likely save at least 10 percent of last year's energy bill. These savings can continue this year and in the years to come. Is this a lot of money? In this study you will find out. Dollars saved may be available for such things as computers, athletic events, school dances, or for other school needs. As important, energy savings help the earth by reducing resource use and environmental pollution.

You will find that your school uses lots of energy, and that energy costs both money and
the environment! Dollars are leaking out of your school every day, and it is up to you to
find out the location and size of the leaks. In this workbook you are asked to find
information. So, who has this information or where can you find it? It is up to you to
find the right people and get the information you need; much like detectives investigating
a crime scene. As in any investigation, you will collect a lot of information, develop a
list of suspects, organize your information, and present your findings along with
recommendations. Let's look at an example of school energy use. At Roosevelt High
School in Portland Oregon, the electricity, fuel oil, and natural gas bills for the 1993
school year came to $109,943. Of that, $73,199 was for electricity; $23,177 for #5 fuel
oil; and $13,567 for natural gas. The electricity bill for November of 1992, just one
month, was $6,544. What was the electricity used for? You probably will think of lights.
But, what other parts of your school use electricity? Where are other energy forms used
in your school? Often about 10% of the energy cost of your high school can easily be
saved. Can you or your team meet or beat this goal?

In this project you will need to:
(1) collect data through both accounting and an audit of your school,
(2) analyze the data from the audit and tracking of existing usage (this will
include graphing, correcting for climate and building usage, and calculating the
economic cost-benefit of different alternatives),
(3) make recommendations based on your findings,
(4) write a report of your findings,
(5) present your findings to school officials and, lastly,
(6) evaluate what recommendations are adopted and how much energy and money
is saved.

Follow this link for detailed instructions: http://www.powerkuff.com/Download_Energy_Audit.pdf
Links: Link to full lesson plan
Materials: Electronics