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Energy conservation ideas

Ideas to conserve energy, be more energy efficient and reduce greenhouse gas emissions

Consider whether your school might initiate some of the activity ideas below to conserve energy and reduce greenhouse gas emissions this year. Your school could:

  • Undertake an Energy Audit (include transport) across all school buildings and rooms
  • Undertake a Greenhouse emissions audit
  • Report on the baseline data collected
  • Purchase of Green Electricity (if applicable)
  • Develop a whole school development plan or school Master plan for the conservation of energy at the school
  • Plan for and undertake professional development for staff on energy, air quality (Air Watch), passive solar design and/or renewable energy technologies and associated themes
  • Apply for energy related grants and enter environmental awards and competitions
  • Undertake a range of Energy Efficiency- Management, Maintenance and Monitoring Practices
  • Display interpretive signage regarding energy conservation practices in staffrooms, toilets/bathrooms, canteen, art rooms and general classrooms
  • Establish and implement Switch off regimes in staffroom, utility rooms, specialist rooms, corridors, toilet/bathrooms and general classrooms (including holidays)
  • Implement maintenance regimes for cleaning light fittings, heaters, air conditioners
  • Implement heating/ cooling regimes in staffroom, specialist rooms, corridors and general classrooms
  • Install an Energy monitoring system e.g. Smart Metres
  • Establish computer monitor sleep time regimes
  • Establish standby and shut down energy regimes
  • Design and implement natural air flow (cross ventilation)systems or regimes
  • Ensure appliances are used on timer systems where appropriate e.g. Staff water urn, air conditioners and individual space heaters
  • Install a ‘Green’ or passive heating & cooling systems e.g. blinds,
  • planting etc
  • Use a solar hybrid, interactive or stand alone systems for lighting
  • Use a solar collection systems, including glass houses, for heating or solar hot water
  • Use solar powered water pumps or air movement systems
  • Initiate an Energy Efficiency or Retrofitting and Technology program, e.g.
  • De-lamping program or Re-lamping program
  • Install movement-censored lighting
  • Install timer switches or switched lighting
  • Install Smart meters
  • Install 5 star skylights and/or natural lighting
  • Install energy efficient windows and/or coverings
  • Install energy efficient globes
  • Install4-5 star rated appliances e.g. dish washers , fridges etc
  • Paint surfaces for light refraction/reflection
  • Install double glazed windows
  • Install and maintain weather stripping and draft proofing aides
  • Ensure that security lighting is clean and effective
  • Ensure the correct use of ceiling fans (reversible)
  • Install insulation (in walls, ceilings, or floors)

Curriculum Considerations

Can your school:

  • Use activities from strands in Science, SOSE, Technology and Maths to engage students in energy conservation and efficiency activities
  • Design and implement practical, ‘hands-on’ energy and air quality activities
  • Use Interactive ICT resources to gain information on and increase understanding of energy conservation and Greenhouse cycle, energy issues and air quality or renewable energy sources (e.g. computer games with a energy theme, Ollie series CDs, Save Energy @ School CD)
  • Go on excursions to provide students with first hand experience of:
  • energy conservation and renewable technologies at energy education centres.
  • Encourage guest speakers or in-school education programs on energy
  • Initiate Home projects on energy including home usage and conservation ideas
  • Participation in Air Watch or equivalent programs
  • Engage indigenous learning perspectives to curriculum development
  • Design an Action Plan for ensuring energy, air quality and greenhouse
  • issues are updated and included in the curriculum.

School Policies and Reporting

Can your school:

  • Draft Energy policies, targets and action plan and take them to School
  • Council for endorsement
  • Ensure regular feedback on the development of the program is provided to the whole school, e.g. through reports at school assemblies, annual school reports, newsletters, displays and end of year assemblies
  • Ensure the School Council is regularly kept up to date with progress and
  • achievements
  • Author Case studies about the schools achievements and make them available to others on the school’s website.

Sustainable Transport

Can your school:

  • Get involved in a Walking Bus program
  • Get involved in a Travel Smart program
  • Initiate a car pooling or bike riding encouragement program
  • Participate in an energy smart transport programs – i.e. reduction in personal car based transport

Students and Parents

Can the school students and parents:

  • Get actively and meaningfully involved in planning and managing the energy and air quality program (Student and Parent Action Teams)
  • Suggest a role for School Environment Captains
  • Initiate a School Environment Club
  • Assist in the planning and management of the AuSSI program and implementation actions.

Community Connections

Can your school:

  • Attend local environmental network meetings
  • Promote the success of the school’s energy program through the media (newspapers, blogs, website etc.)
  • Staff and students participate in home based energy
  • programs e.g., Greenhouse Challenge, Cool Communities, Home Energy project etc
  • Survey the attitudes and changes in home energy behaviour
  • Promote activities for being more energy smart at home in the school newsletters to families
  • Staff and/ or students mentor other schools about energy conservation
  • Students and staff open dialogue about energy related issues
  • with other schools across the nation and globe
  • Staff and/ or students give presentations on their school energy and air quality programs to other schools
  • Liaise with political representatives from local, state and federal governments for support of projects
  • Liaise with local government officers
  • Liaise with government agencies and NGOs to develop joint projects
  • Liaise with local business to access support for energy conservation activity
  • Liaise with local friends of groups to get additional ideas and engage in community wide activities.

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