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ESSENTIAL QUESTION: What is electricity and how does it affect our lives throughout the seasons?

Energy Efficiency

The cheapest and cleanest energy is that which is never generated and used.  A 2007 study conducted by Central Electric Power Cooperative, the wholesale power aggregator for South Carolina’s electric cooperatives, showed that hundreds of megawatts of generation can be avoided through improved efficiency.  Avoiding use means that less generation of any kind must be constructed and operated.

Here are some ideas for helping your students use energy efficiently:

Other ideas:

Make energy efficiency behavior charts where the children can put a checkmark every time they do something to save energy. For instance, put a line on the chart for a family bike ride instead of a car ride, or for remembering to turn off a light switch when leaving a room. Other ideas include asking parents to turn down the thermostat a few degrees in the winter or up a few degrees in summer, and taking short showers instead of baths.

Create energy-saving posters to display at home or at school illustrating ways people can save energy in their homes or at school, such as turning out the lights or using energy-efficient light bulbs.

Energy efficiency solutions can be simple—a good start is plugging electronics into a power strip and flipping the strip off when you’re away.


What kind of things need energy to work?
Why is it important to use energy efficiently?
How can we be safe around electricity?
Your Electric Cooperatives


Energy efficiency starts at home—learning what to do during cold or hot months around the house can save energy and money. South Carolina kindergarten students can learn the basics about energy, electrical safety and how to use our resources wisely. They can also learn how electricity use changes based on the season. Co-ops believe that if you can teach children these concepts at an early age, they will be more likely to become aware of their actions and become responsible citizens of our state.


K-PS3-1. Make observations to determine the effect of sunlight on Earth’s surface.

PS3.B: Conservation of Energy and Energy Transfer Sunlight warms Earth’s surface.

K-PS3-2. Use tools and materials to design and build a structure that will reduce the warming effect of sunlight on an area.

PS3.B: Conservation of Energy and Energy Transfer Sunlight warms Earth’s surface.

K-ESS2-1. Use and share observations of local weather conditions to describe patterns over time.

ESS2.D: Weather and Climate Weather is the combination of sunlight, wind, snow, or rain, and temperature in a particular region at a particular time. People measure these conditions to describe and record the weather and to notice patterns over time

K-ESS3-1. Use a model to represent the relationship between the needs of different plants or animals (including humans) and the places they live.

ESS3.A: Natural Resources Living things need water, air, and resources from the land, and they live in places that have the things they need. Humans use natural resources for everything they do.

K-ESS3-3. Obtain and communicate information to define problems related to human impact on the local environment.

ESS3.C: Human Impacts on Earth Systems Things that people do to live comfortably can affect the world around them, but they can make choices that reduce their impacts on the land, water, air, and other living things.