Croydon Hills Primary has had a long tradition of sustainable education, and has always valued its many environmental programs. This year, as a school, we choose to focus on energy and we looked at establishing ways we can start to reduce our school’s energy use and carbon footprint going forward.
We started this process by looking at our school’s energy use over the past 10 years, see the image generated below. We accounted for some of the anomalies in the data, such as the fact we had extensive renovations in our school when a new stadium was build and the Performing Arts Centre was redeveloped in 2013. These events appeared to have caused our energy use to surge dramatically in that year. We also considered the fact that, as a school, we started to grow considerably from 2013 onwards. In that year we had our highest ever enrolment of preps, 134! Then we continued to take on more and more students each year, growing from 430 in 2008, to our current enrolments level of 715 in 2018. In that time we have added four new classrooms to our school, all of which generate their own heating and cooling costs, which in turn contribute to the schools energy consumption.
We then looked at the school’s energy bills from 2018 and discussed when the school was using the most energy within a year, and why this might be. We used this data as part of our maths statistics and data investigation unit. The students graphed the data, and calculated average usage, and compared energy usage by season.
We then completed an energy audit of the whole school and looked at ways we could reduce our energy consumption as a school. We developed an Energy Reduction Plan, setting targets to reduce our kWh per student, per year from 310 kWh to 245kWh by 2020. We already have some great initiatives in place that will help us realise these targets. For example all the new classrooms and facilities that have been added or updated within our school since our enrolments have started to increase have the latest in sustainable technology. They have motion sensor, energy efficient LED lights. Reflective, insulating film on the windows, and the heating and cooling on timed systems. As we continue to update our learning facilities in the future, these sustainable building practises will continue to be carried out throughout the school. We also have over 30 solar panels installed and are looking to get more.
Our Action Plan also aims to further educate our school community about reducing energy wastage by having switch signage placed throughout the school and having a thermometer installed in each classroom next to the thermostat, so students and staff have a better understanding of temperature fluctuation.
We are excited to see what the future holds, and what new energy saving initiatives we can implement at CHPS in the coming years. We all want a greener tomorrow, not just for us, but for the whole world.