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