Analyse community use of your school buildings

Analyse how much energy is being used by community groups using your school and what its costing in £ and CO2.

15 KS3 KS4 KS5 Citizenship Maths
What do you think goes on in your school once the pupils and staff leave?  It's actually common practice for many schools to offer their facilities to community groups, sports clubs and other organisations at evenings, weekends and during holidays.

Well, whyever not?  The community group or organisation gets access to good facilities and the school receives revenue from the bookings.

This situation can, however make it a bit more complicated to analyse your school's energy use. How can you determine whether your evening electricity consumption is high because students left all the computers on in the ICT suite or because a pensioner's netball club has been using the gym?  Or whether the gas consumption is high because the boiler timer is faulty or the local dramatic society has been using your draughty theatre facilities and whacking the heating up.

You can use your analytical skills to develop a clearer picture of the impact that community use has on your school's energy consumption.

If you're an Energy Sparks school, your school charts will be shown below.  If you haven't yet signed up to Energy Sparks, you can still find out the answers to the following questions.

1. Based on your knowledge of your school, when do you think school buildings are used by the community?  Weekdays or weekend?  Mornings or evenings?
2. What days have the most community use?  The least?
3. Which parts of the school are used by the community.

You may need to ask the Office Staff or Site Manager to help you with the answers to these questions.

What can you do with this information?

You might want to choose to calculate how much your school is spending on electricity or gas when community groups are in.  Pass this information on to your office team.  They need information like this to make sure they are charging groups enough for the use of your facilities.

Next: let the community groups using your spaces know that you're trying to cut energy use.  What could they do to help? 

Here's a challenge for you.

The following shows the electricity used by a school.  Have a good look at the values on the Y-axis.
The carbon emissions from the evening use of the school are higher than that of the day time, when pupils are in the school.  Why do you think this is?