Surrey schools save thousands during spring break campaign

'Turn it off before you take off' encourages staff and students to unplug electrical items.

During spring break

This spring break, the Surrey School District implemented its campaign to “Turn it off before you take off” for the second time.

The campaign urges staff and students to unplug electrical items where possible in a way to reduce “stand-by power” while the schools are empty.

Stand-by power refers to the electricity that is still being consumed by electronics and appliances while they are turned off or in stand-by mode.

During spring break, 60 schools and district sites participated in the campaign.

The district’s energy consumption dropped approximately eight per cent compared to spring break last year – about a $15,000 saving over the two-week period.

According to BC Hydro, some of the savings could be attributed to projects such as hydro’s Continuous Optimization project, which ensures equipment is only running when schools are fully occupied to improve the performance of building operations.

Heather Scholefield, BC Hydro’s Workplace Conservation Awareness (WCA) Program manager, said the program also supports other organizations across the province.

“The Surrey School District has demonstrated great leadership in conservation through participation in Power Smart’s WCA Program and winning the Power Smart Excellence Award for Conservation Awareness and Engagement in 2014,” Scholefield said.

This was the second of three shut-down campaigns being undertaken in the district “in an effort to eliminate energy waste when schools are largely unoccupied,” according to Tracy Blagdon, who leads the energy conservation initiatives in the district.

Surrey schools first implemented the campaign during the 2014 winter break. During the two-week holiday, 76 schools and district sites participated and electrical consumption was down 4.6 per cent compared to the previous year.


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