Watt Watchers of Texas: Texas is Too Good To Waste™

Secret Patrol

Background Information

Survey your school to see if the Watt Watchers program will save your school money. Use the Watt Watchers check sheet to tally the empty classrooms at your school with the lights on. By patrolling the halls of your school you can see just how much energy is going to waste. As well as, if the teachers are saving energy and using equipment efficiently or if they could improve their habits and save energy and money.

Don’t tell anyone outside your class what you are doing. Your operation must be completely unknown to anyone outside your class. Make sure that everyone in the class understands that the idea is to check up on everyone’s habits as they are now – before they know what you know. That is, turning out the lights in one empty classroom two hours each day saves $50 over a 180-day school year.

So your job is to go quietly through the hallways without causing anyone to wonder just what you are up to. By quietly checking for wasted energy without fanfare, you can find out just how important it is to turn off lights and computer monitors when they are not needed. The best times to check are when classrooms are likely to be empty: before school, recess, lunch periods and after school. Keep score for the number of empty classrooms you find and add them up at the end of one week. What would the savings be if you started a Watt Watchers of Texas program and changed these teacher’s habits?

Setting the Stage

Ask the students if they have any teachers that leave the lights on when the classroom is empty or if they have ever seen an empty classroom with the lights on. Explain that energy is being used in those classrooms when none needs to be. Discuss the energy savings the school could have by turning off the lights for 2 hours a day per school day over the school year in one classroom ($50).

Activity: Watt Watcher Survey

Checking for energy waste in your school is very simple. All you need is your Patrol Record, a pencil and a few quiet students. (There’s more information about using the Patrol Record here.)

  1. Take your materials and start your energy patrol. Your mission is to go to every classroom in the school and check to see if energy is being saved or wasted.
  2. When you come to a classroom where energy is being used because there is a class in the room, you put a check on your check sheet.
  3. When you come to a classroom where energy is being used but there is no one in the room, then energy is being wasted. Put an X on your check sheet.
  4. When you come to a classroom where energy is not being used and there is no one in the room, then energy is being saved. Put a O on your check sheet.
  5. After you have patrolled for a week you can give an award to the teacher who saved the most energy.


Ask the students ways to:

  1. Inform each teacher of their classroom energy use habits.
  2. Educate the other students in the school about energy conservation.
  3. Remind students and teachers why energy conservation is important.
Watt Watchers of Texas is a Partner Program of Smart Energy Education.
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