Saving Energy in Schools
Benchmarking enables you to compare your schools energy performance against other schools. A fast and easy way to determine the potential for saving energy and water is to calculate the school’s performance and then compare this with published benchmarks. This will help you to outline areas on which to concentrate (e.g. electricity, fossil fuel, water) and will also give an indication of potential savings for each of these resources.
You will be able to find benchmark information on your school’s Display Energy Certificate (DEC). However the DEC does not benchmark water usage.
To benchmark your school’s performance you will need to find out your school’s floor area in m2 and annual energy usage in kWh. If you do not already know this please contact the Council’s Energy Management Team.
The range of benchmarks is helpful in determining realistic quantified potential savings. For example, a secondary school may wish to improve current electricity performance from between ‘typical’ and ‘poor’ to ‘good’ practice in the next two years.
However, it is important to note that no two schools will be the same in terms of energy consumption. For example, a school opening into the evening and serving the community is making full use of resources but will be using more energy than a school not used by the community; therefore benchmarks should only be used as a guideline.
Conduct an energy walk-round to find out how energy is being used and to determine how much energy can be saved. You could involve members of the school community including teachers, pupils and caretakers making a visual assessment of each room and:
- Establishing where energy is being used
- Eliminating wasteful practices and ensuring they do not recur
- Identifying opportunities for savings
- Identifying where maintenance work or repairs are needed (to reduce energy costs)Indicating a need for capital investment to improve energy efficiency
A walk-round provides a great opportunity for pupils to get involved as well as demonstrating commitment to improving energy performance.
Please find an Energy Walk-round checklist in the Information and Resources Section.
Further guidance on benchmarking and identifying savings can be found in the Bursar’s Guide to Sustainable School Operation.
Using the information gathered from measuring your energy usage and identifying where savings can be made it is now time to set a reduction target and write your Energy Action Plan.
Step 5: Setting a target and writing an Energy Action Plan