Find out when your school's energy use changes

10 Investigating energy usage KS1, KS2

Activity summary

Brainstorm key times over the school day when energy use changes. Finding and listing these key times will help you to interpret the Energy Sparks charts, and take action to reduce the biggest uses of energy.  Times to consider include:
  1. When does the heating first come on in the  morning, and go off in the afternoon? Is it set to come at a certain time each day, or is optimum start set so that the start time is adjusted depending on the temperature?
  2. When do the first teaching staff arrive? Design a questionnaire to ask each staff member when they arrive, what energy using appliance or technology do they switch on when, and when do they normally leave at the end of the day? Remember to ask staff about switching on and off kettles in the staff room, photocopiers, projectors, whiteboards, computers and printers.
  3. When do kitchen staff arrive and leave? Identify key times in the school kitchen. When are kettles, ovens, dishwashers and sterilisers switched on and turned off?
  4. When pupils arrive: You could use the charts to investigate whether there is an increase in energy use when pupils arrive, or have all lights, appliances and technology already been switched on by staff?
  5. Break times: You could use the charts to investigate whether there is any decrease in energy use at break times, if some lights and technology are switched off. 
  6. When pupils go home: You could use the charts to investigate how long it takes after the end of the school day for energy use to drop down to the baseline level. This will be affected by after school clubs, and when teachers and office staff go home. Compare different days of the same week, to see if there is a difference in behaviour patterns. 

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