Energy plan rewards frugal schools, b...

Energy plan rewards frugal schools, bills hogs

There are 47 comments on the Honolulu Star-Bulletin story from May 26, 2008, titled Energy plan rewards frugal schools, bills hogs. In it, Honolulu Star-Bulletin reports that:

Nearly 100 Hawaii public schools need to pay the Department of Education between $59 and almost $24,000 for exceeding their energy budgets.

Join the discussion below, or Read more at Honolulu Star-Bulletin.

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very concerned student

New York, NY

#1 May 26, 2008
I don't understand why public schools should ever have to be charged (i.e. reprimanded and forced) by the very system that's supposed to be providing for them proper facilities, learning environments, and salaries. Pressure on the educators trickles down to pressure on students. Is the DOE installing eco-friendly products, like lightbulbs, faucets? Maybe they should look into a part solar-powered system as well.
manini

Honolulu, HI

#2 May 26, 2008
This ultimately affects the student who has no voice in energy consumption decisions at the school. Another dumb move by DOE. If DOE wants to make a real savings they need to clean out that vipers nest and start over with motivated personnel.
Jerry Okamura

Kaneohe, HI

#3 May 26, 2008
How does this policy, help the children learn? Isn't that the primary duty of the department, to teach our children, so they can be productive citizens, and not a drag on society?
Ainaman

Hilo, HI

#4 May 26, 2008
It's one thing to help cut down on energy use by switching the schools over to solar and other alternatives, but taking money away from a school that is already stretched thin (as most are) is not helping. how about cutting down on the bloated DOE administration? If we want to teach the kids to conserve, use the money to fund student projects that help set up photo-voltaics, etc...

Since: Apr 08

Honolulu, HI

#5 May 26, 2008
It helps them learn by getting their administrators to stop wasting money and turn lights and air conditioners off when they aren't being used so money can be used for education, not energy. Wasting energy is not an entitlement.

Since: Apr 08

Honolulu, HI

#6 May 26, 2008
Taking money from administrators is the only behavior modification tool that works.
get real

Mililani, HI

#7 May 26, 2008
Hey Kahala, They aren't taking money from 'Administrators'- they are taking money from us, the taxpayers.

The DOE is totally disfunctional and no one in their right mind can defend them.

Care to prove you're not in your right mind?

Go ahead.

Since: Apr 08

Honolulu, HI

#8 May 26, 2008
All the more reason not to give them more money.
sonofhawaii

Honolulu, HI

#9 May 26, 2008
It is not equitable. A school gets a large rebate because their air conditioners were down. Some schools would like to have air conditioners too.
MixedGreens

Ewa Beach, HI

#10 May 26, 2008
Is the DOE also charging schools for increased energy use due to increases in their enrollment?
Some schools are bursting at the seams to accomodate growing populations in their communities. A few middle schools have added 6th grade to faciltiies which normally have 7th and 8th grade only. Schools are also adding computers to help our students meet technology related standards.
I'm not saying these schools should have a free ride. Energy conservation is important. Just wondering if the program takes these type of factors into account when comparing a school's current usage to averages from the past three years? I don't think it's fair to penalize schools who are making an effort to provide for our students under these challenging situations.
Klutz

Kailua, HI

#11 May 26, 2008
This is my school. Principal emailed the faculty to tell us to save electricity and informed us of the sanctions. I asked if he was aware that my 8-classroom building's AC is on M-F even during vacations. He said he'll check on it. Well, it still runs during vacations. That's one week in October, 3 weeks in the Winter, 2 weeks in the Spring, 6 weeks of summer and all those holidays and staff development days of wasted electricity!
Photovoltaic

United States

#12 May 26, 2008
Photovoltaic cell electrical systems should be mandatory on every school roof in Hawaii. This would reduce our use of imported oil and save the DOE (our tax money) tons! Invest in Photvoltaic now to save in the future. This solution is a no-brainer!
dwilliams

San Diego, CA

#13 May 26, 2008
What about solar water heaters for all schools? That would seem to be a start and give Lingle a reason to put her money where her mouth is about State facilities conserving energy.

Think of all the high schools' locker rooms, kitchens, and other hot water uses.

Maybe the DOE needs to think about how to help schools rather than punish them for problems.

Since: Feb 08

Honolulu, HI

#14 May 26, 2008
very concerned student wrote:
I don't understand why public schools should ever have to be charged (i.e. reprimanded and forced) by the very system that's supposed to be providing for them proper facilities, learning environments, and salaries. Pressure on the educators trickles down to pressure on students. Is the DOE installing eco-friendly products, like lightbulbs, faucets? Maybe they should look into a part solar-powered system as well.
What I don't understand is why the whole nation has not turned to solar power energy use. With the cost of oil rising more and more everyday, it would make sense to convert energy sources to Solar powered ones. But instead of going nation wide with solar power, energy companies do much worse, charge a nominal fee for the service and make it available to the few who can actually buy it.

So, what does that mean?? Perhaps DOE should have schools buy solar power energy for the school that way money would be saved.
Joe Blow

San Antonio, TX

#15 May 26, 2008
Sounds like a great idea, but where do the schools get the money? I see someone suggested holding a bake sale, but in reality, don't the schools get their money from the DOE, which takes it from the tax-payers?

Three things:

1. Air conditioning should not be considered a luxury for class rooms -- at least not as long as DOE headquarters is fully air conditioned.

2. Use of the facilities after school hours should always count towards the limits, whatever they may be. Classes (teaching) are the reason that schools exist. Everything else, including after school activities, is/are secondary.

3. The DOE honchos should also be required to conform to a realistic budget for electricity for their offices. True, all the money we're talking about comes out of us tax-payers' pockets, but the good leadership comes from the top, and the honchos should set the example for the principals and the schools.
ron

Honolulu, HI

#16 May 26, 2008
consolidate the schools and close the ones with few students. That will save $$$. Fire teachers who can't or will not teach. That might reduce the damage to our kids.
DOE MONKEYS

San Diego, CA

#17 May 26, 2008
Wow, let me see the DOE dont have the money to support its schools but wants to fine them thousands? Schools dont have money to buy books and supplies but the DOE wants to fine them thousands of dollars? Some schools need to use electricity to cool the kids.....lets penalize them for doing that by fining them! I YES THE DOE COMES THRU FOR US AGAIN..WHAT A BUNCH OF MONKEYS.
John Kamaka

San Diego, CA

#18 May 26, 2008
Let's do the math, DOE has 11,000 teachers and 15,000 support staff! Who consumes more energy and bogs down the system, not the teachers for one thing.

I used to work as a night auditor at one of the community college here. I had access to many offices and on many occasions, had to turn off AC and lights from mostly the administrative offices, not classrooms.

Leadership, if that is the correct DOE term, should come from the top. Energy regulation is a good concept, but polices should reflect its usage by appropriate parameters.
GO TO POLLS

San Diego, CA

#19 May 26, 2008
VOTE!! LET YOUR VOICES BE HEARD! THE POLL ON IF WE SHOULD REPLACE THE BOARD OF EDUCATION!
Former Maui Resident

United States

#20 May 26, 2008
While I applaud the idea behind the bill, it's laughable to impose sactions / rebates without funding energy-saving upgrades first. For example, T-8 lamps should replace all older fluorescents, but this costs ~$200/ 4-foot fixture!

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