Energy Sparks for schools

Energy Sparks is an online energy analysis tool and energy education programme specifically designed to help schools reduce their electricity and gas usage through the analysis of smart meter data. Energy Sparks helps schools reduce their carbon emissions, and make a real contribution to addressing the 'climate emergency'.

Energy Sparks is a registered charity working for the public benefit to develop and promote tools, services and programmes to reduce energy and resource consumption and carbon emissions. Energy Sparks aims to educate the public, particularly young people, about the causes and impacts of climate change, and the importance of energy saving and reducing carbon emissions.

Energy Sparks is currently working with 797 schools.

Energy Sparks shows schools when and how much energy they are using and provides tailored energy saving advice designed for individual schools

Using a school’s electricity, gas and solar data, Energy Sparks shows pupils, staff and the wider school community how much energy the school is using. The online tool presents bespoke analysis of the energy data with suggestions of actions the school community could take to save energy and reduce the school’s carbon emissions.

Energy Sparks provides adult and pupil dashboards tailored to meet the specific needs of the students and staff at a school.

Ecoteam and classroom activities for pupils linked to energy analysis

Energy Sparks has 147 energy and sustainability education activities and accompanying resources which pupils can participate in through eco-teams or curriculum learning. These activities support learning about climate change and energy, investigating energy use around the school site, taking action to reduce energy use and spreading the energy saving and carbon reduction message across the wider school community. Schools are encouraged to record completed activities on Energy Sparks, earning points and sharing best practice with other schools.

Advice for school staff on taking impactful action

Energy Sparks provides guidance to support adult-led actions to save energy through changes in:

  • Staff and pupil behaviour
  • Heating system setup
  • Building fabric
  • Appliance upgrades
  • Operations
  • Policies

Automated alerts to let schools know when energy use changes

Energy Sparks provides online and weekly email and text alerts and action prompts informing users when their consumption changes and the cost and carbon implications. Alerts are uniquely linked to pupil activities and recommended adult-led actions to empower pupils and staff with taking impactful action to target energy waste.

Improve pupil and staff energy and carbon literacy and develop transferable life skills

Participation empowers pupils to:

  • take action to reduce their school's carbon footprint
  • see the impact of their actions
  • develop environmental awareness
  • participate in leadership and collaborative opportunities
  • build communication and analytical skills
  • be motivated to take responsibility for their school
  • have opportunities to influence and engage school and community leaders, and
  • develop positive responses to climate change
"Energy Sparks has enabled children at Freshford to investigate how energy is used in different parts of the school and devise strategies to reduce the school's consumption. The children's enthusiasm was kick-started by the competitive element and they’ve worked effectively with staff and the local community to think innovatively about what we can do to reduce our impact on the environment and reduce costs. The children developed and presented evidence-based initiatives to the school's business managers, securing installation of energy-efficient lighting and kitchen equipment, movement-sensor-switches, and a solar-panel campaign.

The Energy Sparks resources are inspirational, powerful and transformational tools for all schools that will enable them to reduce their CO2 footprint, save money and help children to develop a powerful can-do attitude towards the challenges of global warming."
Andrew Wishart

Head teacher

Freshford Church School

How much energy can participating schools save?

Most schools participating with Energy Sparks can expect to achieve energy savings of around 10% in their first year of engagement with Energy Sparks, resulting in cost savings of around £2500-£6000 (depending on tariffs) and 8 tonnes of CO2 based on an average 2 form entry primary school. Energy Sparks' best performing schools have achieved savings of up to 30%, generally by reducing school holiday, weekend and overnight heating use and cutting their electricity baseload. Examples of savings achieved at participating schools are provided in the Energy Sparks' Case Studies.

What meters does the school need to join Energy Sparks?

To join Energy Sparks you need smart meters installed which are capable of providing half hourly electricity and gas consumption data to Energy Sparks. These can be Half-Hourly (HH), Automated Meter Reading (AMR) or Smart Metering Equipment Technical Specifications (SMETS2) meters. If you don’t have the right meters installed, you can request an upgrade from your energy supplier. Energy Sparks recommends SMETS2 for electricity and AMR for gas where available.

Costs to join Energy Sparks

State schools (maintained and academies)

Funding from charitable trusts and foundations, community energy companies and corporate partners currently allows Energy Sparks to provide its services free of charge to a limited number of schools in certain regions of the UK. Energy Sparks is seeking new funders to allow us to maintain and extend our free offer to more state schools.

We also support state schools as a paid for service. Access to the online tool, education resources, training webinars and email and phone support costs £495 + VAT per year per school for state schools joining us from a Multi-Academy Trust or Local Authority cluster or £525 + VAT per year for individual schools. Complete our enrolment form to register your interest in joining Energy Sparks.

Independent schools (private)

Access to the online tool, education resources, training webinars and email and phone support starts from £525 + VAT per year for independent schools.

This basic package covers support for up to 10 meters per year. Additional meters are charged at £10 + VAT per meter per year.

The basic package provides a publicly visible dashboard in line with all state schools. If you would like your school’s energy use data to be private, and only accessible to logged in users, this can be requested at an extra charge of £75 + VAT per year. Our recommendation is to opt to have your energy data publicly visible to maximise engagement across your pupils and staff team.

Education workshops and virtual and on-site energy audits are available at extra cost.

Participating schools and adult users confirm their agreement with Energy Sparks’ Terms and Conditions as part of their initial account set up process.

Find out more

What is Energy Sparks - an introduction
An introduction to Energy Sparks for eco teams
Saundersfoot CP School and Energy Sparks