Australian Sustainable Schools Initiative - ACT
The ACT Government Education and Training Directorate is demonstrating its commitment to the ACT Government’s climate change strategy,
Weathering the Change, for ‘all schools to be carbon neutral by 2017’, by embarking on a major energy efficiency program.
AuSSI ACT works collaboratively with the ACT Education and Training Directorate in the delivery of this energy efficiency program.
All ACT government schools (with the exception of the two schools opened in 2011 - Gungahlin College and Namadgi School)
have received a comprehensive energy audit.
AuSSI ACT staff have delivered the energy audit reports to every school, discussed recommendations and delivered the AuSSI
ACT Energy Best Practice Guide.
AuSSI ACT accredits schools who have, over a twelve month period, implemented recommendations (from the audit report and
best practice guide) and have achieved a reduction in energy consumption.
The Catholic Education Office is considering conducting similar audits in ACT Catholic schools.
Similar to water conservation, the first place to start with saving energy in your school is a walk through energy audit. This is of particular importance as energy is easily overlooked. We tend to think about warmth, computers, lights etc but not the underlying energy used to provide these services. By performing a self-audit, staff and students can identify where energy is being used and start thinking about possible ways of saving energy.
For your school to receive support in conducting an energy audit please email email@example.com
Following the steps outlined below will help your school develop an Action Plan to achieve Energy Savings:
Guidelines for Specific Energy Using Appliances
Most lights in schools are 1200 mm (4 ft) fluorescent tubes. These are usually in paired configurations, i.e. two tubes per fixture. Both the number of lights, and their switching configuration is important. Note size and location of windows, as these are the only truly free lights around. Rather than climbing a ladder to check the wattage that is printed on the bulb, why don’t you ask your building service officer (BSO) where the spare globes are kept. Also note the condition and cleanliness of light fixtures.
Estimate the daily hours of usage, by visiting the rooms:
Check the school’s timetable to see if rooms are used at night. Ask the cleaner how long lights are on during cleaning. Try to take into account weather conditions on the day of the survey; on a dull day, lighting use will be above average, and on a bright day, below average.
Both the monitor and box draw considerable amounts of power. Desktop computers will have separate appliance labels for the box and the monitor. Laptops will only have one label. Generally a school will only have a few types of computers so you don’t have to crawl under every desk once you have recorded representative power numbers.
These are becoming increasingly common and use a relatively large amount of energy. Rather than climbing to read the unit on the projector, ask the front office if they have a manual for board.
Hot Water Services:
Coming in two forms these might be built-in units to provide boiling water for hot drinks, or might be storage units providing hot water for showers, taps, etc. They may be either gas or electric powered. Ask your BSO to help you locate these units.
Have variable wattages - record the range as it is shown on the label (if accessible). Alternatively, note the make and model and ask the office staff if they have a manual for the photocopier.
Generally the easiest way to get specifications for security systems is from the front office or BSO. Note the rooms that have security sensors.
Don't forget other appliances, such as kettles, fax machines, televisions, DVD or VCRs. If they are left on standby, this can use quite a lot of power.
Most schools use circulating hot water to keep the school warm in winter. The water is warmed using a gas boiler, which your BSO can show you. It should have a plate similar to electric appliances. Look also for a maintenance sticker, which will show when maintenance was last performed and how the boiler rated. Ask teachers and students for anecdotal evidence of particular rooms in the school being too hot or cold in winter this may also indicate a problem with the heating system.
Portable classrooms will often have heat pumps (reverse cycle air conditioners) and some classrooms in the school may be cold so teachers sometimes use electric resistance heating to supplement the school's central heating. Look for fan forced or column heaters or ask the class teacher.
The comprehensive energy audits that were undertaken in ACT government schools found that the ten best opportunities for reducing energy use and greenhouse gas emissions in schools were (in decreasing priority order):