Sometimes changes in gas consumption can be caused by changes in outside temperatures. When the weather is colder, the heating has to run longer and work harder to heat up the school.
If we adjust your gas consumption for changes in outside temperatures, your weekly gas consumption in Autumn half term 2020 was 5,500 kWh compared with 1,200 kWh during Autumn half term 2019. The percentage increase was about 370%. This means your gas consumption has increased more than expected taking account of weather changes.
Common causes of an increase in gas use in the school holidays which is not caused by colder outside temperatures
- The heating has been left running at the same temperature as during term time.
- The hot water system has been left running or has been reprogrammed.
What you should do
Develop a checklist of energy saving tasks to be completed before a holiday. This list could include:
- Heating: most school boilers have frost protection built in, so boilers for heating should be switched off, as it will save a significant amount of energy and cost. If the school is to be occupied by a few members of staff only, it is better for provide those staff with electric fan or panel heaters, rather than heating the whole school, or if the school’s heating is zoned just leave the occupied zone on. Some schools have an egg-timer type boost control which allows staff who come in outside normal hours to turn the heating on for between 30 minutes and 2 hours
- Hot water: hot water systems can be turned off to save energy. Please remember however to flush the system before the school is occupied again to reduce Legionella risk – you need to do this whether or not you have turned the heating off over a holiday