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Juniper Education BP 20210901
Juniper Education BP 20210901

5 ways to save energy at school

March 3, 2020, 6:55 GMT+1
Read in 4 minutes
  • Dwayne Kula offers some actionable tips for SBLs and headteachers to cut costs in school...
5 ways to save energy at school

A school can use up a lot of energy during the day. From heating the building to inefficient lighting fixtures; a school that is running eight to 10 hours a day can prove to be a huge consumer of energy and therefore a high utility overhead to maintain.

Here are five practical tips and ways that you can start saving energy in schools and become a greener, environment friendly and more sustainable school overall.

1 | Replace inefficient lighting fixtures with led

In school facilities we most commonly find tube lighting being used in the hallways, classrooms, and really anywhere with lower ceilings that are flat.

This technology is, more often than not, fluorescent.

Believe it or not, this actually isn’t the most energy efficient lighting technology out there. LED technology is by far the most efficient luminaire on the market today. By switching from fluorescent to LED, you will be able to realise a 30 per cent reduction in electric energy consumption associated with your tube lights.

Car parks, exterior walls and sports fields can make the switch away from technologies like metal halide, high pressure sodium and fluorescent lighting to LED and realise greater energy savings by up to 75 per cent.

2 | Install occupancy sensors

Some areas of your building may not be in use at all times where the lights would be on otherwise (such as hallways). By installing occupancy sensors which turn on when there is movement, you will be able to have lights on only when the area is needed.

3 | Better insulation in your buildings

A lot of heat in your building can be lost through poorly insulated walls and ceilings. By upgrading your insulation you will realise a hefty reduction in energy waste related to heating (or cooling) your building.

Although this can seem like a big investment for a school (just like some of these other things), you need to look at the long term savings that it will bring your facility. More likely than not, it will almost always produce a positive ROI all while promoting school sustainability.

4 | Upgrade those bathrooms

There are much better ways to save electricity at school in the bathroom than replacing hand driers with paper towel dispensers. All that does is create another issue, the ongoing cost and waste produced from the paper towels!

Instead, upgrading hand dryers that are energy efficient is a surefire way to reduce energy usage in your school’s bathroom. On top of that, installing sinks and toilets that use less hot water (and water in general) can be a great addition while you are at it.

5 | Promote usage of natural light

Face it, a lot of classes happen during broad daylight and by not using up that free light from outside is a pure waste. By opening blinds to their fullest (when appropriate) you can reduce the amount of lights you need on by nearly half, depending on the day and time of year. Make sure to remind everyone to do this. Otherwise, you’ll never win with this tactic.

Remember: you need to get the school on board or else you can only do so much. Alternatively, opening the blinds and windows or installing skylights into virtually any area of the building can be an even more effective way of getting the most natural light into your building. This is probably most beneficial for areas that would otherwise have no natural light whatsoever, such as hallways or interior rooms.

Dwayne Kula is President of My LED Lighting Guide and The Lighting Centre.