Mount Waverley Primary School 2019
2011 saw MWPS finally survive the last stages of the State Government’s building works and a renewed focus on energy efficiency. We were successful in our application for the Solar Schools Grant late 2009 and installed solar panels on our Senior Learning Building. We forged a partnership with a local solar company, who also furnished us with more solar panels, increasing our capacity to 11kw. We regularly monitor our solar generation and plan to add more solar panels to our purpose built Sustainability Hub.
We started this year with an energy audit that again saw our school exceed expectations as far as having energy efficient appliances and fixtures installed. We have maintained those appliances and fixtures and have even updated things to be more efficient where possible.
We have continued to have signage on all power points and appliances across the school, reminding people not to be “carbon monsters” and to turn things off. We have regular fortnightly Earth Hours and Energy Monitors in each class. We have purged all printers from the school, except for in the Admin Office and have four energy efficient printer/photocopiers only. Our school has become a Bring Your Own Device (laptops and iPads) school and all devices must be charged at home. This has seen a significant reduction in our energy use.
We continue to switch off all non-essential items during the school holidays and regularly remind staff about efficient use of heaters and air conditioners. We have snippets and tips in the newsletter and on our sustainability blog about energy efficiency. We teach a unit on Energy as part of the curriculum and regularly participate in energy related activities, celebrations and programs. We feel that we have maintained and to some degree increased our success since 2011, but we have also had some issues.
When the Department decided to make all schools use Red Energy, our problems began. Missing bills was the first issue for almost a year and we could not get any help from anyone. Then we were furnished with outrageously high bills and no amount of fighting them seemed to make any difference. Solar feed was discontinued and we had to fight to re-establish that. We still can’t get any Green Energy from them despite the fact that it would make them more money to do so. In the end we have had to resort to the Ombudsman for their help and are still awaiting an outcome.
However, overall, when re-evaluating our efforts we believe that we have continued to Re-energise MWPS effectively. We feel that as a school we have succeeded but intend on continuing to reduce our energy consumption wherever possible.