Unable to view this email? Click here.
MidAmerican Energy Company.
2020 e-SMARTnews
Welcome to MidAmerican Energy Company’s e-SMARTnews!
Today’s generation is “all ears” when it comes to using our energy resources responsibly. As you’ve probably already seen, they’re ready to dive right in and get to work. They just need to know where to start.
As their teacher, you can give them the guidance they’re looking for. And as your partner in sustainable, climate-friendly energy solutions, we’re ready to help. e-SMARTnews offers energy education tips that complement our e-SMARTkids website with lessons, activities and games that capture and hold the interest of young students. Our website and newsletter support Iowa and Illinois ELA/reading and science standards, and are ideal for both classroom use and remote learning at home.

We hope you'll enjoy this issue and will share its energy-efficiency messages with your class, your colleagues and parents or caregivers. Consider assigning the activities and games in this newsletter for remote learning at home as well—when students share energy efficiency resources with their families, everyone benefits!

For more energy education resources, please visit
Simple Steps to Save Energy at School
Check Out Our e-SMARTkids Website!
View‚ download or print energy-related educational resources at: www.midamericanenergy.com/esmart
Teachers and administrators may use this site to order FREE booklets for their students.
The average American home uses more energy for heating than anything else. In fact, it makes up 31 percent of the energy used in a home. And in colder months, a significant portion of a home’s heat and energy bill can go right out the window. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, drafts can cause your home to lose 5 to 30 percent of your energy use. Reducing air leaks could cut 10 percent from an average household's monthly energy bill.
Teach your students to be Draft Detectives by searching out areas where heat escapes their home or classroom. As an exercise, explore windows, doors, wall plugs and other areas around the classroom or school. Encourage them to explore areas around their house and report their findings. Discuss how to fix problem areas and improve energy usage.
They’ve already got the sensitive tools they need: their hands, which are perfect for feeling for breezes. To detect even more subtle breezes, students can tape a tissue to a ruler (like a flag) and hold it in front of draft-suspicious areas.
Here are some tips you and your students can use in your classrooms and at home to save energy:
Windows: Do you feel air coming in through edges of the window and window frame?
Doors: Use your hand or tissue to inspect all edges of the door for air movement.
Wall Plugs: Run your hand or hold a tissue in front of all wall plugs in your home. If you find drafts, ask your parents to buy draft stoppers for the plugs and ask if you can help install them.
Attics: Heat rises and can easily escape through the attic. Ask your parents to check for cool air coming in through attic stairs. If you have pull-down attic stairs, make sure they have an insulated cover, which can pay for itself in energy savings the first month.
Did you know the ann ual energy bill to heat and cool America’s primary and secondary schools is more than what’s spent on textbooks and computers combined? It averages a staggering $6 billion!
Students and teachers can do a lot to save energy in their schools. By being more energy efficient, schools can help reduce greenhouse gas emissions and save money. The savings can be used for projects to enhance the learning environment, like building improvements and new textbooks.
Here are some tips you and your students can use in your classrooms to save
When students learn to be more energy efficient at school, they can take what they’ve learned home. Ask your students to use our energy-saving tips and the Home Energy Inspection to identify and implement more energy-saving behaviors.
Energy vampires are appliances and devices that drain power even when they’re not actually operating. These devices account for about five percent of your home’s energy use, and even more for schools, which usually have lots of older equipment.
Five percent may not seem like much, but it adds up fast! Across all U.S. households this energy usage amounts to an estimated 65 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity each year. This extra electricity costs consumers more than 5.8 billion dollars and sends more than 87 billion pounds of heat-trapping carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. (Yes, that’s 87 billion.)
Energy Vampires can be elusive, but not for a seasoned Energy Vampire Hunter. Here are a few tips for tracking them down:
Some of them are ancient. Look around the house or classroom for older computer monitors, other electronics and device chargers for older phones and laptops. These guys are some of the biggest Energy Vampires of them
Let them sleep in peace. Particularly with more recent models, putting your computer into sleep mode may use less power than shutting it down completely. Why? Because it takes more power to start up cold than it does to simply wake up.
They try to fool you with pretty pictures. Speaking of computers, unless you have a really old desktop with an antique CRT monitor (laugh!), you don’t really need a screensaver, which only keeps the computer busy (and gobbling up lots of energy) when you’re not even around.
Be sensitive to the light. You’ve seen it: No lights are on, but the room isn’t quite dark. These days, almost every device includes a light or clock. Even those super efficient LEDs are still sucking power. Of course, some do need to stay on all the time—your DVR, for example (you wouldn’t want to miss the latest installment of your favorite vampire hunter series). For these devices, especially, look for ENERGY STAR® ratings and recommendations.
It’s easy (bwah-ha-ha-ha!). Just unplug them, and their vampiring days are over. They’ll thank you for it, too. Powering down completely may help your devices last
Got a whole nest of them? Plug them all into a power strip, and shut them all off at once. Even better, get one of those newer “smart ” power strips with circuitry designed to monitor and control power to each electrical outlet in the strip to improve energy efficiency and prevent power wasting.
I Spy
Students take turns being the “spy,” finding places in the room where energy could be saved. The spy gives clues to the others, who make guesses about the
energy-saving opportunity. Clues can be the first letter, the location or a brief description of the opportunity. When someone gets the correct answer, they can be the next energy-saving spy. If no one gets the right answer, and there are no more guesses, the spy reveals the energy conservation item and invites a new spy to take over. In some cases, students may need help finding an energy-saving target.
Energy conservation opportunities are all around. It could be a manual versus smart thermostat, an open window or door, an electronic device that is not in use but still turned on or plugged in, or blinds that are not drawn during hot weather. The Energy opportunity could be an old appliance (not ENERGY STAR® certified) that guzzles energy or a drafty door or window where cooled or heated air can escape.
Count the Savings
Challenge students to examine the cost of a household energy bill before adopting new energy-use habits. Then have them swap out the energy guzzling devices for more energy-efficient devices. After at least a month, have them compare the previous bill to a bill after installing energy-efficient devices. (Make sure the season being compared in the two bills is the same, as rising needs for heat or air conditioner could mask energy savings.) Invite students to explain their cost savings in a presentation to the class.
Home Energy-Use Inspection Contest
Encourage students to use our e-SMARTkids website’s home inspection checklist with their families by sponsoring a contest to see who can check off the most number of inspection items. Allow some time for families to implement desired changes.
Kids can also learn about energy through games on MidAmerican Energy’s
e-SMARTkids website. These games are designed to be fun, informative and very visual. They can be played individually or in a group, in the classroom or at home.
The Voltinator
Students use voltage (the Voltinator) to push electrons from atom to atom in a circuit. The goal is to power an electrical appliance, and the energy in the meter rises as more electrons are placed. When they’re all placed, the appliance goes on. But watch out for Sparktrons, Automatons and Zagtrons!
Find the Hidden Dangers
In the neighborhood where Sofia, Alex and Tyler live, electrical dangers are lurking! When students find a danger, they get points by clicking on the people or the hazard involved. They’ll also learn why each situation is dangerous, and score bonus points for knowing what to do to stay safe.
Visit MidAmericanEnergy.com/esmart to view,
download or print a variety of educational resources.
Teachers and administrators may use this site to
order COMPLIMENTARY booklets for their students.
#12348 © 2020 Culver Media, LLC