Smartpower CVHS

Official Dosomething.org Project

The Problem

Smart meters along with software allows school members to see the school's live energy feed. Another feature of the dashboard is that they can track energy usage in any building, at any particular moment, in terms of cost, kilowatt hours and carbon tons, from the day of installation of the smart meters. According to the EPA, on average 30% of energy used in US buildings is unnecessary. This smart energy solution helps you track anomalies (abnormal energy spikes) in energy usage in a particular building at a particular time, allowing the facilities director to investigate and resolve the energy problem - thus reducing the school's energy consumption and saving money.  After the smart meters and software is installed at the school, all school members (students, staff, facilities manager) can track anomalies in energy use. After resolving the issue, school members can see a visual change in energy consumption by looking at the dashboard. Energy bills, with less energy usage, will also decrease and therefore save the school money. You can compare the energy consumption of the school to previous energy bills before the smart energy solution vs. energy bills after anomaly problems have been resolved. Therefore, the smart energy solution will allow school members to visually see the success of the project by noticing lowered energy usage - saving the school money and reducing it's carbon footprint. 

Plan of Action

GOALS – From this grant, we hope that to be able to install smart meters in the 18 buildings that make up the campus at Castro Valley High School. After the implementation of the smart meters, we hope to encourage students and staffs to be conscious of their energy consumption. The smart meters will also help us analyze where the energy of the school is mostly consumed and how we, as a school, can reduce this usage. Students and staff can stay informed since it can be easily accessible on iPhones or the school's website; smart meters update the energy cost and consumption of the buildings every 15 minutes. The main target of this project is everyone on Castro Valley High School campus. We want everyone to be aware of their environmental impact and how they can help minimize their carbon footprint by reducing their energy usage at school whenever possible. After educating the school, we have future plans to implement the same plan to various businesses and other schools around the community with the help of students who are interested. ACTIVITIES – To start this project, we are spreading the word of our ideas through the internet (e.g. Facebook, Twitter) and word-of-mouth (e.g. friend to friend, teacher to student, student to parent). Then with the help of intrigued students and staff asking for donations and/or applying for grants, we hope to raise enough funds to be able to install the smart meters in all the buildings in the school. After installation, we will analyze the received data and develop ways that can reduce energy consumption. Later on, we plan to start is a battle of energy consumption between buildings on campus. In this procedure, we hope that a competitive atmosphere will encourage students and staff alike to conserve and reduce the use of energy. On a bigger scale, we hope to have a competitive race against other schools of districts far and wide who are implementing the same ideas. In addition to these ideas, we plan to start a club of our own to stretch the ideas of students who are interested in technology and saving the environment. With this, students with similar interests can easily meet together as well as apply the SmartPower CVHS concept to buildings all over the community. Students will also be able to develop many other ideas they have with the assistance of teachers and other students. SmartPower CVHS meets the California Department of Education Standards by teaching students where sources of energy come from, climate change, change in the ecosystem, how energy transfers in an out of the atmosphere, and much more earth science related topics. This project is extremely beneficial to students interested in making an environmental impact and to those who want to be leaders of their generation. Students will be able to lead individual or group projects by choosing a business, school, or public building they would like to make more environmental-friendly. SmartPower CVHS is a basic idea that is here to jump start the creative juices in the young minds of today! EXPANSION - We plan to spread our project throughout the community after the implementation at Castro Valley High School. To do so, we will publicize our ideas and find businesses (e.g. Safeway, restaurants, hardware shops), schools (e.g. Canyon Middle School of Castro Valley), or public buildings (e.g. library) that are interested in getting involved with student activity, becoming more environmental-friendly, and saving money on energy usage. First, we will make a finalized report of the results we will receive after the project at CVHS as well as other schools who have already implemented the same plan by the time we start the expansion phase. Second, students will use these reports to persuade others to become involved with our project. We hope to install smart meters and educate others on ways they can reduce their energy usages which will thus, save money and minimize carbon footprint. Finally, we hope that we can spread this idea to many more communities on a statewide basis through places such as the internet, school visits, or public speeches to increase our impact of reducing carbon emissions!

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