Students at New Roads School in Santa Monica reported impressive energy savings on their school campus during the third week of meter readings for the 2012 national Green Cup Challenge (GCC), school officials said.

Now in its fifth year, the GCC is sponsored by the Green Schools Alliance (GSA). The challenge involved 116 schools in 22 states that competed to reduce their electricity consumption during peak winter energy usage, Jan. 18 to Feb. 15.

“From California to Florida, students and school campuses are modeling technologies and behaviors that save energy, money and the environment during the GCC and beyond,” GCC Program Director Katy Perry said.

At New Roads School, students and staff have achieved reductions of up to 17 percent, school officials said. Tyrone Sandaal, the high school’sco-director, said students and staff have been going room by room controlling thermostats, shutting off computer monitors, space heaters, and lamps.

The school has also installed special plates on light switches outside of seven modular buildings to prevent lights from being turned on unnecessarily during the day, and put night lights on timers, Sandaal said.

“What we found going into the GCC is that we were very effective in our campaign last year, so it was much easier for us to do what we needed to do this year. It’s about creating habits,” he said.

New Roads is compiling its energy savings for the current year and hopes to surpass last year’s achievement. The school hopes to create a GCC home version, where parents and families would compete with each other to create percentage reductions at home, and report the results in school, Sandaal said.

New Roads School’s entry in the GCC popular video contest highlights how recycling saves energy.

National winners will be announced by early next month.

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