At San Francisco University High School, Agency is one of our core values and that agency has sprung one of our students into action. Leila Sulentic 21’ has used her agency to challenge the administration at UHS to become “Super Green” with her “5% Plan.”
UHS Core Value - Agency: taking risks and growing from the experience; pursuing our passion with confidence, creativity and humility; discovering and making real our own distinctive and evolving expressions of excellence.
Leila challenged UHS to switch from normal electricity to SuperGreen with CleanPowerSF – meaning electricity that comes only from 100% renewable power plants. CleanPowerSF is a nonprofit operated by the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (SFPUC)- they also manage the very successful and effective Hetch-Hetchy hydropower system, deliver Hetch-Hetchy water to SF homes, and operate San Francisco Sewer System. CleanPowerSF partners with PG&E to transport clean power to your home using existing PG&E power lines.
Starting Jan. 1, UHS responded to Leila’s challenge and has switched its CleanPowerSF electric plan to SuperGreen. This means that 100% of our electricity is renewable, generated from the Shiloh Wind Project in Solano County, California. The downfall of SuperGreen is that UHS’s electricity is now more expensive than the previous electric plan and in order to make up this cost increase, we need to reduce our school’s energy usage by 4-5%. In response, UHS has challenged Leila to help offset the cost increase by helping the administration reduce energy usage overall by the same 4-5%.
Over the next semester, Leila plans to work with our Head of School and Facilities to make numerous changes throughout campus. These changes include switching lighting to LEDs, purchasing Advanced Power Strips (APS) to prevent energy waste by shutting down power flow to plugged-in devices when there is no motion in the room (Activity monitor PS), based on a previously set time schedule (Timer APS), when a switch is flipped (Remote Switch APS), or when the device is turned off (Master-controlled APS). As well as advocating for energy conservation in the classroom by asking teachers to turn off their classroom’s heating when the classroom isn’t in use, keeping windows and doors closed during the night to prevent any heat from escaping and unplugging classroom devices such as computers, projectors, and audio when not in use.
Leila has put in the time and done the research. She has researched the individual buildings across the UHS campus and has provided suggestions and strategies for each building to reduce energy usage. Her challenge also includes the Head of School’s residence and those changes are already being implemented with reduced energy usage by opting for natural light versus electrical light during the day.
Check back here next semester for an update on the “5% Plan.”