Energy Saving Tips for Schools and Homes

Bear Creek

Check out these energy-saving tips from the energy heroes at Bear Creek!

Lights out

Turning off lights when not in use saves energy and money. A simple note by the switch often does the trick! It’s a common myth that turning off CFL lights (compact fluorescent lights) will result in more energy loss when they have to be turned back on. As long as lights are off for 5 seconds or more, energy is saved, not consumed. Switching out incandescent bulbs on desk lamps can result in huge energy savings. Incandescent bulbs only utilize 10% of their total energy use to give off light, the other 90% produces heat!

Power down

Forget the old adage that leaving your computer on prolongs its life. If you’re planning on walking away from your desk, printer, or copier for more than 20 minutes, it saves to turn it off.


Many computers and appliances still draw a small amount of energy when left plugged in after they are turned off. Often called “vampire loads” or “leaking electricity,” when the amount of appliances in a school are considered, the energy cost adds up quickly. Unplugging is the answer!


Many schools are rethinking some of their biggest energy draws — vending machines, mini fridges, and microwaves. Though they may prove convenient, the amount of energy used to keep them powered 24/7 may override the benefits. Another advantage of no vending machines? Students make healthier food and drink choices.

Become a “Sustainability Captain” at your school

Oregon Green Schools — At schools across Oregon, students, teachers and staff are making a difference in their communities with programs to recycle, reduce waste, save energy and conserve water.

Oregon Green Schools is helping with:
*Hands-on assistance
*Curriculum and funding resources
*Recognition and events

Helpful links for more information: