A Top Plan to Save Energy in Schools - 3rd July 2014

Kevan Walsh, Chief Executive of Zenergi, presented on energy management at the LASBM May Conference. We asked him to recap and tell us his 5 simple tips for managing energy.

Before you plough money into investing in energy saving projects, make sure you have a plan to get the best out of every penny!

Where are you going?

What do you want to achieve with this energy saving drive? Financial; Educational, CSR; Investment; Playground improvements?

Monitor your Energy Consumption

“If you don’t measure it, you can’t manage it”

Make sure you record regular readings (weekly or daily) from the area in the school in which you wish to make savings and monitor. This will give you a fantastic pattern of when energy is being used and how much. This will form the benchmark of where savings will be derived from.

Get to know everything you can about how you use your energy

When energy is being used, what’s using it? Pottery kilns; kitchen; floodlights; swimming pool heaters; the whole school?

Review and Act

“If you do the same today as you did yesterday you will get the same result”

Change needs to happen! Look at different ways of operating, change times, reduce consumption, don’t switch on the lights so early/late. Remember to monitor again and on a very regular basis to compare to previous readings.

Feedback to stakeholders the impact of the energy saved

Equate the impact to either financial savings, carbon, the number of iPads you can buy from the savings or improvements to the playground, for example. Use this to educate and motivate pupils and staff to continue with the new way of operating.

Only then invest! The cheapest unit of energy is the one you don’t use!

5 SIMPLE TIPS

1. Switch the lights off!
2. Check your boiler operating times - do they come on when the school is not in use (e.g. Christmas holidays)?
3. Movement/daylight sensors save money and are easy to install and pay back.
4. Get an Eco group to go around school during break times to “dob in” the teachers who don’t switch off! Create a yellow card, red card scenario.
5. Keep temperatures to 19 degrees.

If you do nothing else...

Make sure the bill is correct. The industry average is 2-3% errors on invoices. If this isn’t possible, employ a consultant such as Zenergi to help out.