Analyse your school energy use - when is your school occupied?

Penyrheol Comprehensive, Wednesday, 10 November 2021
10 Analyst KS1, KS2, KS3, KS4, KS5

What you did

I asked the teachers when the school was occupied. We could have teachers coming in 7:25 to record how much energy we used the night and a different teacher after school to see how much energy we used during that school day.

Activity description

Contrary to popular opinion, teachers don't live in school.  Find out a bit more about when and how your school is occupied to understand when and how energy is being used in your school.  

Energy Sparks charts show your schools' energy consumption when the school is open (green) and closed (blue) on school days.

For good energy management, you want most of your energy use to be when the school is open.  Compare the following graphs showing the electricity use in two schools.   Which school is using most electricity in the early morning?  What time does the electricity use shoot up?  Can you think of a reason for this?  Is anyone in the school at this time?

 



Now look at School E.  When is most electricity being used?  Do you think this is anything to do with the school being occupied?
School E


This is what your school looks like:



We set open and closed times as a default but you can change this for your school.  Design a questionnaire for staff to answer so that you can understand better what happens at the start and end of the school day.  You may want to ask the following questions: 

  • When do you arrive?
  • What appliances/ equipment do you switch on? (include lights, kettles, photocopiers, projectors, whiteboards, computers, printers, heaters/air con)
  • What time do you leave?

This is a very good opportunity for staff to think through their arrival and departure routines.  Do they need to be switching on equipment so early or turning it off so late?

Do their answers match with what you see on the graphs?

Explanations
School C either has cleaners coming in very early in the morning or the electrical heating system warming up the school.
School D is a good representation of when school staff are coming in.
School E may have a late evening event taking place.  To understand more we would look at the graphs for the next few days.  If this pattern repeats we would want to investigate the timings of the electrical heating system or ask the Caretaker or Energy Sparks analyst for more help understanding what is happening. 

Energy Sparks supports Penyrheol Comprehensive in partnership with Egni Coop and Swansea Council