Your school's annual electricity usage is too high

The Problem
Your electricity use over the last year was 120,000 kWh. This is too high. Other schools with a similar number of pupils use 100,000 kWh. If you reduced your electricity use to match this level, it would save you £2,000. The best performing schools with a similar number of pupils use 58,625 kWh. If you matched the best performing schools you could save £7,000.


Common causes
High electricity use is often caused by: 
  • Inefficient lights and lights left switched on in empty rooms
  • Security lights running constantly through the night
  • Inefficient IT servers
  • Old freezers and fridges running constantly 
  • Electric water heaters running constantly
  • Water chillers 
  • Air conditioning 
  • Computers, whiteboards and other electrical equipment left running when the school is closed. 

What you should do
  • Check to see what lights and appliances are left on at the end of the school day and get pupils and staff to switch off lights and appliances when they go home, and before the school holidays. Don't forget to look in offices or school kitchens. 
  • Remind pupils and staff to always switch off lights and appliances when they leave a room. 
  • Consider replacing your lights with energy saving LED lights. Often only the bulb needs replacing, and LED bulbs or tubes are now available cheaply. LEDs can save up to 90%  of energy costs compared to halogen bulbs, and up to 50% compared to fluorescent tubes. This change can either be done piecemeal by replacing a few bulbs at a time, when your existing fluorescent tubes or bulbs stop working or on a more wholesale basis across the whole school. You may be able to get grant funding or an interest free loan (such as SALIX) for this work, or you might be able to get your PTA or similar parent group to fundraise to support the project. 
  • Use appliance monitors to check how much energy your school fridges and freezers are using, as these need to run all the time. A modern fridge or freezer uses £30 to £40 of electricity a year, but old models can use up to £500 of electricity a year. 
  • Consider replacing old ICT servers with modern servers or move to saving your school's data in the 'cloud'. Removing the need for school ICT servers can also save energy previously used for air conditioning in school server rooms. 
  • Replace desktop computers with laptop computers . Older desktop computers often consume 2 to 3 times more electricity than laptops.