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West // West Oahu Coverstory
Christina O’Connor

School Earns Cash By Saving Energy

Palisades Elementary School earned this $10,000 check from Hawaiian Electric Co. for success in conserving energy and winning first place in the Home Energy Challenge. Pictured (from left) are HECO education and consumer affairs director Ka'iulani de Silva, state Sen. Clarence Nishihara, students Alana Ho and Jerome Nozawa, HECO community affairs consultant Sam Nichols, student Taiyo Watt, Palisades parent-community networking coordinator Desiree Yamanouchi, student Preston Spragling, Palisades principal Gavin Tsue, state Rep. Gregg Takayama and HECO government and community affairs vice president Darcy Endo-Omoto. Photo courtesy Hawaiian Electric Co.

Palisades Elementary School earned this $10,000 check from Hawaiian Electric Co. for success in conserving energy and winning first place in the Home Energy Challenge. Pictured (from left) are HECO education and consumer affairs director Ka’iulani de Silva, state Sen. Clarence Nishihara, students Alana Ho and Jerome Nozawa, HECO community affairs consultant Sam Nichols, student Taiyo Watt, Palisades parent-community networking coordinator Desiree Yamanouchi, student Preston Spragling, Palisades principal Gavin Tsue, state Rep. Gregg Takayama and HECO government and community affairs vice president Darcy Endo-Omoto. Photo courtesy Hawaiian Electric Co.

Palisades Elementary School now has an extra $10,000, thanks to its students’ dedication to conserving energy.

The Pearl City school took first place in this year’s Home Energy Challenge, which was sponsored by Hawaiian Electric Co.

The contest ran from October 2013 through March 2014, in which time the children slashed energy use in their daily lives. In the process, they learned where electricity comes, how it’s distributed and ways to minimize personal usage.

“Hawaiian Electric continues to partner with the DOE on the Home Energy Challenge because it’s important to teach our young energy users to conserve, to not waste,” explained HECO community affairs consultant Sam Nichols, who manages the campaign. “Our clean energy future depends on not just renewable energy and energy efficiency, but the foundation: conservation.”

Here are some of the winning strategies voiced by the young waste-cutters of Palisades Elementary School:

“I took short showers, turned off lights when done, and used light from the windows,” declared first-grader Alana Ho. “We turned off fans and opened windows, and filled up the clothes washer.”

“I take fast showers, turn off lights before I leave rooms, and I help my tutu hang clothes on the line to save energy,” said first-grader Jerome Nozawa.

“We’re not using air conditioning, but letting air flow through the house. We get a lot of air through because there are lots of windows,” explained sixth-grader Preston Spragling.

Palisades Elementary School has not yet decided just how to spend its prize money, but principal Gavin Tsue said she’s considering applying it to an educational energy-conservation project for the students.

For their conservation efforts, Nuuanu Elementary took second place, and Kuhio Elementary placed third. They won $6,000 and $3,000, respectively.

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