14 Sep School Savings for the New Term
School Savings for the New Term
Summer is over, all the kids have swapped their bucket and spade for a pencil case and lunchbox. Teachers have swapped their pints of beer for pints of coffee, ready to welcome all the kids back to school for another year. Unfortunately, after a tough couple of years of lockdowns and remote lessons, there is a new ‘unprecedented’ worry on the horizon – the energy crisis.
Hundreds of thousands of people up and down the country are worried about the winter to come and affording their energy bills, not to mention the sky-high inflation on other everyday essentials. Businesses and schools will be impacted too, with many not knowing where they will find the money to double their energy budget.
We use our electricity sensors and AI algorithm to create personalised recommendations for the schools that we work with, but we also have some more general tips that might be useful for teachers in the upcoming year.
Vampire Energy is a real sucker
Leaving your appliances switched on at the wall still uses small amounts of electricity. Think about how your TV has a red light when it is on standby or how your phone charger might still be warm to touch even if it is not being used. This is called vampire energy and though it might not sound like much electricity is being consumed, over the course of a year it adds up. The average UK household spends £86 a year on household energy, with the amount schools fork out bound to be much higher.
The biggest offenders in schools are large printers, which are often never switched off. Most schools these days have laptop charging bins that are moved around the school, but rarely turned off when not in use.
Our top tip would be to do an energy audit with your students. Go around the classroom or the whole school and make a note of all the devices and plugs that you find switched on. Think about which of these were in use and which were just left on through laziness. Get the kids involved in coming up with a system that helps everyone remember to flick the switch and turn off those vampire devices.
Let there be light! But not too much light…
We have a tendency to go into a room and switch on all the lights, even if we might not need them. It is a habit, part of the morning routine to make sure that everything is ready to go for the day. But are all of these lights needed?
Do a light audit with your students. Turn off all the lights and turn them on one by one to see whether all of them are needed or if the room is illuminated enough by the natural light through the windows or just partial electric lighting. You could do the same exercise at different times of the day and different times of the year to get an idea of how it changes and get you (and the kids) used to adapting to the environment around you.
It’s half term, give it a rest!
We’ve fast-forwarded to half term (can you blame us?). The first 6 weeks of school have flown by and you’re leaving the classroom for a week, so have you made sure that everything is switched off? The same can be said for weekends and evenings, are you making sure that everything is turned off or is your first thought getting out of there and home in time for the new series of Bake Off? If it is the latter, we can’t blame you, but it doesn’t take long to do a quick sweep to make sure everything is off.
Our tip would be to… do an audit with your students! We know we are repeating ourselves, but it really is the best way to get the information and changes that you need, while also getting the kids involved and teaching them good habits. Do an end of day, end of week, and end of term audit with the students to check what needs to be left on (eg security systems, freezers) and what can be turned off (eg computers, microwaves). Make a plan with the students, perhaps giving responsibility to some pupils to check that everything is turned off at the right time.
We hope that you will find these tips useful. The behaviour changes like these are the hardest to make, but they yield the best results and teaching kids that little actions like these matter is an invaluable lesson that they can carry with them into the rest of their lives.