Energy savings and minimising no-load losses in electronic devices should be part and parcel of school instruction. Therefore, the Federal Environment Agency and the Action No-Energy have developed a teaching module called ”Energiesparkiste” (Energy savings chest) for detecting and ending no-load losses. Every year private households and offices in Germany waste as much power through no-load losses as is consumed in the cities of Berlin and Hamburg, amounting to an annual cost of some four billion euros. Furthermore, this unnecessary consumption of electricity burdens the climate with about 14 million tonnes of carbon dioxide every year. Carbon dioxide is one of the major causes of global climate change.
Schools can get ”Energiesparkiste” for free. It is especially suited for use at the primary and early secondary school levels. Ammeters (energy cost monitors), a halogen lamp and separate plug and multipoint connector with an ‘on/off’ switch allows pupils to experiment with no-load losses. In addition to these materials, the chest has information for teachers and a classroom set of a brochure on energy saving in households.
Pupils thus learn how to handle an ammeter with which they can measure the electricity consumption (power consumption) of different electrical and electronic appliances with which they are familiar. They can discover various forms of no-load loss, calculate power consumption and energy costs of devices, consider their own handling of electric energy, and come to realise that a change in behaviour is worthwhile for both their purse and the environment, specifically to protect the climate.
Schools may borrow ”Energiesparkiste” free of charge. It is only available via Internet at www.no-e.de. The site has more on the ”Energiesparkiste” project (in German).
Dessau, 12 April 2007