Heating and lighting account for the
vast majority of energy used in schools like Raglan Primary. Typically with
schools, the combination of old buildings and limited school maintenance
budgets means that insulation levels are poor and equipment such as lights and
boilers are old, inefficient, and lack automated centrally controlled settings.
And improving control of equipment is often far more cost effective than
replacing old equipment.
An in depth audit of Raglan’s
premises and facilities revealed our assumptions to be largely true for this
school. Although Raglan had invested in an electricity monitoring system which
proved useful in communicating electricity use to staff and pupils during their
power downs, control of electricity consuming equipment was at the point of
use, e.g. the light switches in each classroom and hallway, air-conditioning
and computers individually controlled. Additional sensors and switches
would need to be installed to link these separate circuits to facilitate
The boiler accounted for the vast
majority of gas consumption at the school and a signification proportion of
total energy use. The controls for the main boilers were not working
effectively which meant the boilers had to be controlled manually.
Inevitably this lead to situations where the boilers ran overnight and resulted
in energy being wasted.
The audit also revealed their long
serving caretaker was soon to retire. He had played an important part in
managing the schools energy use – manually controlling the boiler and checking
for lights left on unnecessarily.