Thursday, 31 July 2014

Educating on energy efficiency

GEA ConsultingLimited are registered Low Carbon Consultants and Low Carbon Energy Assessors and specialise in the provision of climate change consultancy, carbon reduction management, energy audits/surveys and Display Energy Certificates.

They have been working with local schools to share tips on energy efficiency and to help students understand the importance and benefits of reducing demand. Research shows that pupils who are empowered to take action on energy become more positive towards environmental issues.

In this guest post, GEA share some of their tips and resources.

Growing Up Green

Businesses across all sectors are increasingly focussed on energy reduction; not only for the obvious cost saving benefits, but also in achieving their corporate social responsibility strategies.

But what about Schools?

Reducing energy use has many advantages for schools: it of course saves money and reduces carbon emissions but also improves the learning environment and can enhance a school’s reputation.

In schools, the education of children about the different types and sources of energy, along with energy saving measures, is becoming more popular every year.
Research has shown that where pupils are empowered to take action on energy, their attitude to other environmental issues becomes more positive.
Education in energy reduction should be a requirement of all areas of the curriculum and should be incorporated into all subjects.

Getting Involved

To be really effective, the whole school must be involved in energy saving; by motivating staff and pupils through lessons, as well as providing practical advice on how to go about saving energy, a whole school approach can reduce the school’s carbon footprint.

One of the best ways of getting the whole school involved is by holding a School Energy Saving Day. This engages both staff and pupils through such activities as games, quizzes and energy saving presentations.

It gets everyone involved in understanding the importance of energy efficiency and how this can affect the environment and importantly how it can save the school money that could be spent elsewhere on educational materials and resources. Activities include:

Energy Quiz: Covering energy saving and the environment; the aim of the quiz is to be educational and fun; a prize for the highest score!

Design the Sign: Pupils get to design a sign to remind everyone to switch off the lights; the winners design will be put up around the School!

Crack the Carbon: A short presentation on energy savings and the effects on the environment; lots of sounds and pictures to keep the pupils engaged!

BECI Race: What is a BECI and how does it work; followed by a race to see who can put up their BECI Stickers first, a prize for the first team back!

Continuing the Ideas

Why not appoint pupils as energy monitors? To switch off computers and lights as well as shutting doors and windows; this can also act as useful housekeeping several times a day.

The ‘Design the Sign’ could become a term activity with the winner having their sign displayed for the entire term. Pupils can also be encouraged to produce their own classroom BECI’s with an understanding of annual energy usage and how this is measured and calculated.

Eco-Schools is an initiative to help schools become environmentally friendly in both the curriculum and the management of the school. The prestigious Eco-Schools flag is awarded to schools which meet the criteria. To find out more visit: www.eco-schools.org.uk

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