Find out how much oil or LPG your school is using

Find out how to track the oil or LPG consumption of you school's boiler and how much carbon dioxide it emits

30 KS3 KS4 KS5 Mathematics and Numeracy
Many schools use oil or LPG fuelled boilers, especially in rural areas where the national gas network (the underground pipes) don’t reach. 

It can make keeping track of how much energy your school is using for heating and hot water quite difficult. Schools on the gas network have meters which record exactly how much fuel they are using, and when they are using it. But schools which use oil often have to rely on knowing how many times a year they need to order more fuel.

It’s important to understand how much fuel your school uses for heating and hot water, because buying fuel is expensive and using too much has an environmental impact. But how can you work out how much oil or LPG your school uses?

Before you start, speak to your caretaker or building manager about the fuel for your boiler. Where is it stored? How often is the oil tank filled up? How much oil does it hold when it’s full? How can you tell how much fuel is left in it?

Some oil tanks will have a tube on the outside of the tank which shows how much oil is left inside. Others might have a separate device which tells your building manager how full the tank is.

This activity looks at how much fuel is in the tank and how many times a year it needs to be filled up. Completing this activity will help you calculate carbon emissions created by burning oil or LPG in your school’s boiler each year.

It can be difficult to track oil or LPG consumption closely, so you might want to nominate an oil monitor to keep track on a regular basis. They can use our oil consumption tracking spreadsheet to support them.

If you keep tracking your oil consumption every winter and follow the Energy Sparks heating guidance you might start to notice your consumption come down.

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