Schools are often unoccupied for 5,000 – 6,000 hours a year. Open hours are often less than 2,000 hours per year. If the school's heating is left on out of hours, then this can be the big cause of energy waste.
Use the Energy Sparks graphs to investigate your school's energy use during the school holidays. You should see a big drop in energy use during the school holidays. If not, investigate what is still using energy when the school is unoccupied. Find out whether your classrooms are heated by gas or electricity. Use this information to better understand the Energy Sparks graphs.
It might be necessary to keep some heating on during very cold spells to protect the pipes in the school from freezing. To give frost protection, the school only needs to be heated to about 8C. Can you find out what temperature your school is heated to during the holidays?
How is your hot water heated? Is hot water stored in a tank ready for you to use when you turn on a hot tap, or is it heated instantly when needed by a water heater? If hot water is stored in a tank, is the hot water heating switched off in the school holidays?