Representatives from the Alliance to Save Energy, the East Tennessee Green Building Council, and the State of Tennessee’s Department of Environment and Conservation, Office of Energy Programs joined together to teach a class on energy efficiency and phantom load to pre-k students at The Goddard School of Farragut.
The class was taught using the basic fundamentals of the TDEC, Office of Energy Programs’ E.D.G.E. Project. The E.D.G.E. Project was launched in late August by the Office of Energy Program’s Tennessee Energy Education Initiative, through a grant from the Department of Energy, to raise awareness of phantom load in the state. Phantom load, or “vampire power,” is the energy that electrical devices use when they are turned off, yet still plugged in.
“It is imperative to teach everyone, from elementary students to adults, about the importance of energy efficiency,” Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation Commissioner Bob Martineau said. “The Energy Program’s E.D.G.E. Project provides excellent information on how each of us can reduce our energy consumption on a daily basis.”The E.D.G.E. Project works by having Tennessee residents pledge to measure the “in use” and “standby power” of at least five devices or appliances using a Kill-A-Watt meter provided by TEEI. Within 30 days, participants are asked to report their findings to TEEI and then pass along the Kill-A-Watt meter to a friend, family member, neighbor or K-12 teacher.
”Every young child can understand the importance of energy efficiency,” said Jennifer Alldredge from the Alliance to Save Energy. “This project gives them a tool to see and understand energy in their everyday world. That they are “defeating phantoms” or “vampire power” just adds an extra thrill.”
Alldredge has been teaching Knox County students since 2009 through the Alliance to Save Energy’s PowerSave Schools program. Through the program, students are educated about energy and the importance of saving energy. Students also participate in varying activities to learn how to apply science, math and even language arts to save energy at school and home. Some of these same principles will be applied to the special pre-k class.
“You have to engage with children directly to have a successful conservation program,” said Zane Foraker, Chairman of the Green Building Council of East Tennessee. “Children drive energy use every day and they also practice it continuously once they learn how they can affect change.”
Local public affairs and public relations consultant, Clay Crownover, who participated in the E.D.G.E. Project in September, organized the event.