Run a campaign to switch off electrical equipment overnight

Trinity C of E First School, Friday, 08 February 2019
30 Taking action around the school KS1, KS2, KS3

What you did

Energy Sparks completed this activity today. They used the green, amber, red to decide when things are allowed to be switched off in order to save energy. Green means that children can decide to switched electrical equipment off when it is no longer being used. Amber means that the children have to ask the teachers permission to turn the equipment off. And red means it stays on at all times.  Teachers will check at the end of the day to ensure green and amber equipment is switched off at night before they go home at the end of each afternoon. The children took their stickers back to their classes and worked through these with their teachers and class mates. Now the whole school will work on saving electricity in the day time and night time. We will reflect on the savings using our graphs during our next meeting.

Activity description

Your school should only use a small amount of electricity overnight for items such as fridges, freezers and servers. It is likely though that your school is leaving other items on overnight. An out-of-hours survey will help you identify these items so they can be switched off.  This is your baseload.

1. Check your current overnight use - Use the Energy Sparks hourly usage graphs to compare daytime and nighttime use of electricity.

2. Undertake a detailed survey of all school rooms -
• Don’t forget the boiler room, services rooms and outside. Identify electrical items left on unnecessarily, looking particularly at exterior lighting, IT equipment, electric hot water heaters, pumps and other plant room equipment.
• Make a list for each room of the electrical equipment and apply a coloured sticker to the switch of each device. A traffic light coding system should be used for the stickers as follows:
 - Green indicates equipment should be switched off when not in use (e.g. PCs, lighting).
- Amber indicates equipment should be switched off after ensuring no-one is using it.
- Red Do not touch. Equipment should not be switched off (e.g. fridges, freezers and network servers).
Note: shapes can be used with the colours to assist those that may be colour blind.

3. Switch off all equipment labelled with a green or amber sticker.

4. Measure your reduced energy use – After switching off all unnecessary electricity users, it is good to check the savings. Use the Energy Sparks charts to compare your school's energy use  across the day before and after the switch off campaign.

 5. Repeat these checks regularly to check your overnight load does not start to rise above the ‘best practice’ level you measured above.

6. Make extra checks when you close up for the school holidays – leaving equipment on over the holidays will use a lot of unnecessary electricity.

Download this activity guide here.