How to Save Energy in Schools

Over the last few years, saving the environment whilst simultaneously lowering costs has been high on the agenda for the majority of schools throughout Australia.

Implementing water and energy saving programs that educate students on the importance of energy awareness and management has indeed seen a positive shift in attitudes and behavior. However, energy bills have for the most part remained the same, demonstrating that schools have missed the mark on identifying those areas in which major, tangible savings can be achieved.

The typical Australian school is made up of a distribution of buildings that have been gradually implemented over a number of decades. In the majority of cases, this building structure has been rolled out with no monitoring or centralised building control systems. Integrated Technologies Australia (ITA) found that, as a result, Australian schools are highly prone to unseen energy wastage from a variety of sources, including:

  • Unmanaged heating & cooling
  • Poor implementation of hot water heating
  • Poor use & design of lights & light fittings
  • Energy-draining technologies running when buildings are unoccupied

In 90% of cases, ITA's research found that schools lack a fundamental understanding of what the most significant energy-wasters are within their grounds. Additionally, schools often aren’t aware of their options when it comes to saving energy and money immediately.

For Example:

ITA found that Australian schools spend around $200,000 on average every year on enegy and many of these schools have been wasting thousands of dollars in unnecessary energy expenditure. The energy that schools use during closed times – including after-work hours and holiday periods – can be as high as 80% of the energy that is used during actual school hours.

On average, ITA has generated savings of up to 60% for Australian schools through the activation of a tailored ITA Energy Management Plan (EMP), which helps to identify areas in which massive savings can be made. For larger schools, this can equate to millions of dollars over a 10 year period.

A comprehensive EMP is more than just switching off lights, computers and printers at the end of the day. It is about a holistic approach to energy saving, focusing on energy hot-spots and learning how and where to implement consumption improvement strategies.

With the help of an EMP, schools can achieve substantial reductions in energy consumption and costs in the following areas:

  • Heating & cooling
  • Lighting
  • Refrigeration
  • Irrigation
  • Pumps
  • Canteens
  • Pumps & motors used for fans & irrigation
  • Management of computers
  • Security

ABC Radio reported that in 2014, Australian energy users are ranked amongst the highest electricity payers worldwide. It is imperative for schools to use the knowledge they have at their disposal and to be proactive in creating a practical and sustainable EMP. Systems such as these can result in immediate savings for schools as well as improving the futures of their students.

Accredited by Sam4Schools, ITA is well-qualified to help schools identify where their major sources of energy wastage are and to assist in the immediate reduction of their energy bills.

ITA’s Top 3 Tips for Schools to Improve Energy Savings:

1. Don’t spend a cent before you understand the main sources of energy consumption in your school.

2. Implement strategies based on return on investment as well as thinking about what will produce the most value for money.

3. Align yourself with a qualified energy management partner such as ITA.

For more information on Energy Management Plans for Australian schools click here