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Home Energy Education

This page is for educators, students, and parents who are interested in learning more about energy consumption, efficiency, and conservation in their homes.



School to Home Evaluation

Because we know students take home information and lessons they learn at school, KEEP is developing ways to support school to home energy education iniatives and track what students are taking home.

iCanConserve School to Home Program

KEEP partnered with Wisconsin Public Service, Focus on Energy, and the Citizens Utility Board to offer the iCanConserve School to Home program for three communities in the Wisconsin Public Service territory from 2010-2013. Energy literacy is crucial to Wisconsin's economic and environmental future. The School to Home program offered teachers in Allouez, Brillion, and Plover a fun, hands-on way to educate their students about energy production, use and conservation.
 
Benefits included:
  • Curriculum integration consulting sessions
  • FREE resources, in-class support and guest teaching
  • Funding opportunities to further support energy education
  • Free watt meter and supplemental lessons
Fact: 71% of kids who talked to their parents about environmental issues were able to influence behavior changes at home.
Source: 2011 EcoPulseTM.
 
 

This memo documents successes and provides a summary of recommendations for improvements. Overall, teachers highly valued the School to Home program, which led to increased participation in other iCC offers, and KEEP's relationship building with schools overall was crucial to program adoption and success. 

 

Download the full memo.



Home Energy Savings

To save energy in your home (and money on your utility bill), you must know how much energy you are currently using. While your utility bill will show you total kilowatts and therms, more in-depth analysis will show you even more. While an energy audit with an ENERGY STAR professional may reveal the most detailed information about your home's energy usage and potentials for savings, there are simple steps you can take to save energy in your home.

  • The Home Energy Saver website is designed to help consumers identify the best ways to save energy in their homes, and find the resources to make the savings happen. The project is sponsored by the US Department of Energy, as part of the national ENERGY STAR® Program for improving energy efficiency in homes.

  • U.S. Department of Energy, Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy -Energy Savers: Tips on Saving Energy and Money at Home

Make It Educational!

     
  • Involve students with an End Use Survey. The purpose of an end use survey is to help monitor the various categories of end uses in your home or school, which can aid in the identification of ways to reduce electricity consumption.

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  • Take the Appliance Survey. The purpose of this activity is to teach how to calculate the energy consumption of various appliances around your home or school.

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  • You can also take the home energy quiz from the Get Energy Smart website(activity adopted from the EnergySmart Schools Program, part of Rebuild America and U.S. Department of Energy - Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy).

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Go for The ENERGY STAR®

Your home can become a miracle of energy efficiency when you go for the ENERGY STAR when building, remodeling, and purchasing appliances for your home. ENERGY STAR is a government-backed program through the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the US Department of Energy that helps businesses and individuals protect the environment through superior energy efficiency.

Energy-efficient choices can save families about a third on their energy bill with similar savings of greenhouse gas emissions, without sacrificing features, style, or comfort. ENERGY STAR helps you make the energy-efficient choice.

  • If you are looking for new household products, look for ones that have earned the ENERGY STAR. They meet strict energy efficiency guidelines set by the EPA and US Department of Energy.
  • If you are looking for a new home, look for one that has earned the ENERGY STAR.
  • If you are looking to make larger improvements to your home, EPA offers tools and resources to help you plan and undertake projects to reduce your energy bills and improve home comfort.

In Wisconsin, Focus on Energy administers the Wisconsin ENERGY STAR programs, in partnership with the national ENERGY STAR program through EPA and the Department of Energy. Wisconsin's ENERGY STAR programs include ENERGY STAR Products, ENERGY STAR Homes for new construction, and Home Performance with ENERGY STAR for existing homes. These programs target Wisconsin residential energy efficiency and conservation needs. The Focus on Energy website offers more information.

For Building a new home in Wisconsin - This site will provide an overview of the Wisconsin ENERGY STAR® Homes Program including determing eligibility, locating a consultant, home certification, cash-back rewards, and finding a builder: http://www.focusonenergy.com/residential/efficient-homes/new-homes

Make It Educational!

  • Bring in a guest speaker from the Wisconsin ENERGY STAR Products or Homes Programs. You can find guest speaker ideas on the KEEP website.

  • Have your family and consumer science students research different energy-efficient appliance options. What would be the up-front cost of outfitting a home with ENERGY STAR products compared to standard lowest cost models? What would be the benefits over long-term?

  • Technology education teachers, are you building a home with your students? Check out the information here to learn how KEEP can assist you to make that home a Wisconsin ENERGY STAR Home!

  • What are the mechanical differences between ENERGY STAR products and standard models? Have your students research the possibilities. Initiate a design competition -- can students design an ENERGY STAR product that is not yet on the market?



Energy Audits

Are you thinking about improving your home? Do you want to save money on your energy bills? Would you like a more comfortable home with fewer drafts?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, you should schedule an energy audit, or Home Performance evaluation and inspection, for your home. No matter what the age of your home, an energy audit is a good way to find out where air leaks are, where you need more insulation, and what small or large home improvement projects would help you make your home more comfortable and safe, raise the resale value, and help you save money on energy bills.

We recommend scheduling a 2-3 hour home energy audit with a professional, specifically someone who is trained to identify the cause of problems or potential problems in your home and provide you with solutions. Home Performance with ENERGY STAR is a service that is offered through Focus on Energy, Wisconsin's public benefits program. After you schedule your appointment, ENERGY STAR experts will conduct a thorough inspection of all the systems in your home and identify problems and their sources. You'll receive an objective, third-party diagnosis and a report of recommended solutions. To find ENERGY STAR Home Performance professionals near you, visit focusonenergy.com and go to Find Products/Services & Verify Eligibility --> In the type of service select Residential -> enter your county, zip code, select your utilities then click on submit. Under Services Found select Existing Home Consultant.

View home energy audit slideshow and student activities - Coming Soon!



Zero Energy Homes

The below links will help you learn more about Zero Energy Homes.

Seven Steps for a successful Zero Energy Home

www.toolbase.org/Home-Building-Topics/zero-energy-homes/seven-steps-zeh

Zero Energy Homes: A brief primer (PDF)

www.toolbase.org/PDF/CaseStudies/ZEHPrimer.pdf



Utility Websites

 

Your local utility may have the best home energy advice you've never seen! Many utilities across Wisconsin maintain excellent web resources for their customers, including energy-saving tips, fact sheet libraries and information about your bill. Locate your utility from the list below and start learning!

 
Alliant Energy Madison Gas & Electric Xcel Energy
We Energies Wisconsin Public Service Manitowoc Public Utilities
WPPI Energy Dairyland Power Cooperative Wisconsin Rapids Water Works and Lighting Commission​
 

 




 

Don't see your utility listed? Go to any of the utility sites listed above for resources about home energy use.

 

 

Make It Educational!

Design a web quest for your students to explore energy issues on various utility and other energy-themed websites. The links below can help you get started in designing a useful web quest that your students will enjoy:
 
 

 

 

 



Student Built Homes

 

In classrooms and construction sites across the state, technology education students are gaining the skills they will need to become effective members of tomorrow's building workforce. Led by innovative educators and community partners, these students are learning what it takes to be outstanding employees. Student-built home projects in Wisconsin may not be as numerous as science fairs, but they offer similar benefits in hands-on learning. Through KEEP and Focus on Energy, technology education teachers are accessing energy efficiency training and techniques to pass on to their students. From choosing high efficiency furnaces to integrating foam insulation and thorough caulking, technology education students are discovering that energy-efficient home building is superior and yet no more difficult than other methods. These educators, armed with the latest energy information and their enthusiastic students, will pave the way to a more energy-efficient future for Wisconsin.

 

To see a list of the schools currently involved in home-building projects receiving support from KEEP, click here.

 

Want to learn more about how KEEP is working with technology education and student-built homes? Contact Sara Windjue by phone at 715.346.4163 or via email at swindjue@uwsp.edu.

 


Home Energy Related Articles

Your Home: Is 'going green' worth the cost? By Sarah Max, Money Magazine

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