Teachers and staff in the Des Moines school district must now pay an annual fee for any appliances they have in their classrooms such as a coffee maker or microwave.
District officials notified staff of the charge in an email Monday, saying the move will help offset the costs for energy used by the appliances. Annually, staff must now pay $30 for a small refrigerator, $20 for a coffee maker and $10 for a microwave.
“A lot of teachers who contacted me question whether removing a mini-fridge in a classroom is going to make a huge difference overall in energy savings for the district,” said Andrew Rasmussen, president of the Des Moines teacher’s union.
It costs $153.30 each year to run a mini-fridge; $32.86 a year for a microwave and $123.04 for a drip coffee pot, according to a district Energy Report Card dated February 2013. Mini-fridges consume the most energy per year at 2,190 kilowatts.