By Mary Bubala

BALTIMORE (WJZ) – The U.S. Department of Energy is urging schools to look for ways to become smarter about energy.

Mary Bubala reports America’s schools spend more than $6 billion each year on energy costs, but energy experts say schools can save up to 30 percent by doing a few simple things.

First, start an energy patrol staffed by students. It monitors the use of lighting, air conditioning, heating and other energy systems on a daily basis.

An energy patrol in an Arkansas school district helped save $700,000.

Another school district in Illinois shut off all the schools’ 60,000 computers at the end of each day — saving more than a million dollars in energy costs that year.

These school districts used the savings to buy new books and add new playground equipment

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