Energy Smart Community
The Ohio Department of Development has designated Westerville as one of the Governor’s Energy Smart Communities. This is a designation shared by only a handful of other Ohio communities.
Westerville is proud of the work it has accomplished thus far in the energy arena. However, the job of educating consumers on energy issues and implementing energy efficient projects is never done. Programs must be developed that create and sustain good energy habits. We hope to inspire many Westerville citizens through our actions and shape the future for an Energy Smart Ohio.
Value of Electricity Impacts Everyday Life
The benefits of electricity can be seen right behind your front door!
The value of electricity is all around us. You are getting a big bang for your buck when it comes to how productive household electricity can be. You buy milk by the gallon, meat by the pound and electricity by the kilowatt-hour (kWh). Most household electric devices are labeled with watts. Using 1,000 watts for an hour equals 1 kWh.
Let’s break down a morning routine using 10 cents as the average retail price per kWh: A coffee maker costs 2 cents per pot and a toaster is 1 cent per use. If you leave five 100-watt lights on for an hour, it costs you 5 cents. For 15 minutes of microwave use, you’re spending 3 cents; and for half an hour of use of a hair dryer, it’s 6 cents. And as you come and go each day, it costs you three tenths of 1 cent each time you use your garage door opener. With this routine, you’d be spending about 17 cents per day to get ready. That’s a pretty good bargain for the convenience you get and the time you save.
If there’s a specific electronic device you are curious about, it’s simple to find out how much you’re spending on electricity to use it. Multiply the wattage of the device by the number of hours you use the device, divide by 1,000, and then multiply by the price per kWh. That will equal the cost of electricity.
Number of watts × number of hours you use the device ÷ 1,000 × the price per kWh = cost of electricity
Do you leave the radio on for the dog while you’re at work? Here’s how you figure out the cost. The radio is 50 watts, left on for eight hours, with 10 cents as the price per kWh.
50 × 8 ÷1000 × .10 = 0.04
It costs you 4 cents per day to provide Fido a listening companion – about $14.60 per year if you leave the radio on every day.
Remember there’s also a cost in the electricity you don’t use. Devices plugged into an outlet are drawing power even if they aren’t in use. Unplugging appliances such as a toaster, coffee pot, and phone chargers while you’re not using them will save energy and money.
Source: AMP Public Power Connection Winter 2013 edition.
Solar Schools In Westerville
The sun produces radiant energy by consuming hydrogen in nuclear fusion reactions. Solar energy is transmitted to the earth in portions of energy called photons, which interact with the earth's atmosphere and surface. It takes about 8 minutes and 20 seconds for the sun's energy to reach the earth.
Solar Photovoltaic Cells (Solar Panels) such as those in use at Longfellow Magnet and Mark Twain Elementary Schools in Westerville, Ohio convert the sun's radiant energy into electricity. These solar panels provide a small amount of free, environmentally-friendly, energy to Longfellow Magnet and Mark Twain Elementary Schools, thereby, reducing their electric bill and the amount of pollution created from electric generating plants fueled by fossil fuels such as coal, natural gas, and petroleum.
To learn more about solar energy click on the How Solar Energy Works link on the right. To view the amount of electricity generated by solar panels located all over the United States including the Longfellow Magnet School solar panel click on the Soltrex Systems link.
WED, WCS, & OEP Team-Up for an A+ in Energy Education
A partnership program between the Westerville Electric Division, the Westerville City Schools, and the Ohio Energy Project is setting a benchmark for the entire country as the Westerville City Schools were selected as state and national energy winners for the second year in a row.
Cherrington Elementary won best of state and nation for the elementary division, and Heritage Middle School won best of state and national runner-up for the junior division of the competition. Representatives from both schools were recognized in Washington, DC in June 2006 by the National Energy Education Development Project (NEED) at their annual awards ceremony held at the Department of the Interior.
Cherrington’s “Wacky Watts” project centered on its fifth grade students mentoring the school’s second graders about heat, light, sound and electricity. This new program also took home the prestigious HOPE Award, which recognizes inspiring first-time projects. Heritage’s project focused on the connection between landscaping and energy efficiency. Students also performed an energy audit and held an energy fair at Robert Frost Elementary School.
Aside from Cherrington and Heritage, other Westerville schools that received accolades for their energy efforts included Blendon Middle School; Central College Math and Science Magnet School; Huber Ridge Elementary School; Annehurst Elementary School; and Genoa Middle School.
The energy curriculum gets better and better every year within our school district. This year, all 23 schools in the district were involved in one way or another in the program. Having older students serve as mentors and role models to younger students in the same school not only fosters conservation efforts, but it begins opening new minds to energy issues, making the future of the program even better.
The Westerville School District’s energy education program is funded in part by the Westerville Electric Division and instructional materials and assistance is provided by the Ohio Energy Project, a non-profit education organization that coordinates energy programs statewide. Statewide winners of the Ohio Energy Project Divisions go on to be judged nationally as part of NEED.
In conjunction with the school district and the Westerville Electric Division, the Ohio Energy Project is a crucial partner in the professional development for teachers, as well as student leader training and energy fairs at the schools.
When you can, do only full loads of laundry, and use the cold water setting on your washer. Using cold water reduces your washer's energy use by 75 percent. Also, be sue to clean out your dryer's lint trap after each use to improve efficiency. Source: AMP Public Power Connections Spring 2013 edition.