In 2008/2009 members of the Green Team, a sub-project team of Facilities and run by parents and staff, pursued an initiative to apply for funding grants to install solar panels to partially power the school with renewable energy and provide a myriad of learning opportunities for the students, teachers, families and local community.
Kew East Primary School was successful in their applications to both the State Government’s Victorian Solar in Schools Initiative and the Federal Government’s National Solar in Schools Program. KEPS received $15,000.00 (GST inclusive), from the Victorian Solar in Schools Initiative and $50, 000.00, (plus GST), from the National program.
These funds totalling $65,000.00 enabled the school to have 36 solar panels installed on the north facing roof of the Junior School Hall in November 2009. The school community was invited to celebrate and launch the solar project at the schools annual Earth Hour Twilight Picnic in March 2010. This was a well attended event.
This solar electricity system has been designed to generate approximately 24 KW hours of electricity a day on average over a year. While the aim of the system was to reduce the school’s carbon footprint and energy bills, we would like it as a learning tool. Our aim is for the system to be used as a source for learning about energy sources and consumption in particular and environmental issues like sustainability in general.
Our students, the wider school community and the general public will be able to view live data about our school’s consumption and generation of electricity on the www.solarinschools.net website in 2011.
A number of changes have been made to PC ‘sleep functions, and energy use to achieve energy savings for the school.
In 2008, recommendation from the KEPS school Energy Audit was implemented to reduce electricity and greenhouse gases from school lighting. This work included measurement of lighting levels before, then a combination of delamping AND replacing fluoros, and cleaning diffusers was performed. Lighting levels were checked during and After to ensure lighting meets required lux levels. Savings of 4kW were achieved. This was completed throughout the school, by a team of parents and a qualified electrician.
We are currently looking into having movement-sensor lights placed around the school. We hope to move forward with this in 2011.
Heating and Cooling
All classroom heaters have been replaced to ensure they are have at least a 3 star energy rating, have a maximum temperature setting and automatically turn off after 2 hours.
At this stage we have cooling systems in the classrooms that get direct sunlight. 2 of these classrooms have blinds and we are hoping to look into blinds for the other classrooms.