In its 7th year Go Green Week is designed to encourage activities in schools, colleges and universities to raise awareness and launch practical projects to showcase practical solutions for a low-carbon future.
We believe that schools are demonstrating some tremendous initiatives in engaging with staff and students to bring out energy-saving ideas. A couple of our customers have found that the secret is encouragement and involvement for the whole school working together to drive down energy costs. Detailed below is how a couple of our customers are using the Optimal Energy Monitoring system as part of a school wide energy reduction campaign.
A forward thinking team at a Boy’s Senior school in Hertfordshire has been very imaginative and used the Dragons’ Den concept. Small teams of students put forward energy saving ideas/projects to a panel of Dragons (teachers, facilities staff and governors) for consideration. These ranged from ideas for lighting changes to solar panels to heating system and insulation projects with each case fully supported by justification and financial cost saving benefits. As part of their feasibility exercise the students made good use of the live energy data available to them from the Optimal Energy Monitoring system in evaluating the proposals and arriving at recommendations. Being able to quickly and easily refer to the historic consumption data from the Optimal system and apply this to their ideas in assessing the ‘before and after’ considerations simplified the process in arriving at the most cost effective return on investment.
The school management team recognised the students’ enthusiasm and interest and wanted to encourage and include them in the ongoing energy efficiency projects while at the same time bringing a bit of fun into the education process. After reviewing the various ideas presented and assessing the cost justification supported by the Optimal Energy Monitoring Platform the decision to go for the lighting option was chosen. Taking into consideration the return on investment and benefits to the school the funds were allocated to the lighting project, replacing old and inefficient bulbs with new highly efficient LED units in the schools Theatre Hall.
At another large school site the Bursar and the eco-team instigated a “switch off fortnight” campaign to increase awareness amongst staff and students for improving energy management of the school.
Making use of the Optimal Energy Monitoring system to communicate and share energy usage data with staff and students, the school set up a special live dashboard display to coincide with the “switch off fortnight campaign” to keep everybody informed.
Classroom projects were also planned around delivering lessons with the minimum amount of power usage possible and this proved a great way to teach students about the energy issue impact in their own environment.
An awareness campaign using the school’s Intranet, energy dashboard displays and “switch off fortnight posters” supported the initiative and it was a great way of getting the whole school working together. Interestingly a number of parents reported around this time being told off at home for leaving lights on and generally being negligent towards energy usage.
We are pleased to be involved in such projects and it is very encouraging to see the influence it is having on students. Hopefully through continued schemes like this at school level we will be left with bright individuals to help shape the future and continue to drive the importance of carbon reduction through monitoring.