Investigations of energy and its sustainable use can be undertaken within the context of science, technology and geography. Energy audits are a valuable tool and use skills in working scientifically and working mathematically.

Energy audits

There are three types of energy audits typically used by schools to assess their current situation – analysing energy bills, auditing of appliances and recording daily energy use. Download the Guide to conducting a school energy audit – Stages 2 to 5 (DOCX 140KB).

Energy consumption

Use the school’s energy bills to analyse the school’s energy use. Identify baseline consumption and seasonal patterns of energy use.

Schools with solar panels can use the WebGraphs tool which monitors school electricity use and solar generation.

Auditing of appliances

Use the Energy Audit Tool (XLS 114 KB) to calculate CO2 emissions and the amount of electricity used by appliances. Develop suggestions to reduce energy use per appliance and look at infrastructure improvements.

Daily measurements

Take single or multiple measurements through the day using online tools or the electricity meter. Identify patterns of use during a normal school day. Make assessments of the activities in a school that consume energy. Develop strategies and propose new procedures that may reduce energy consumption.

Schools with solar panels can use the Sunny Portal which reports on solar generation. All schools can use the WebGraphs tool which monitors school electricity use as well as solar generation.

Take action

Contribute to a sustainable future by taking actions to reduce or minimise energy use and promote the use of renewable energy sources.

National solar schools program – Coogee Public School (02:17 min) reports on the school's energy efficiency and sustainability initiatives.

STEM project Nemingha Public School - How can we live more sustainably? - explains a STEM project in which Stage 3 rural students focused on farming and irrigation methods as well as recycling and cost effective zero energy housing solutions.

STEM project Tuggerah Lakes Secondary College Tumbi Umbi Campus - Facing the future - explains a STEM project in which Stage 4 students designed and created scaled models of built environments that utilise sustainable materials and harvest alternative forms of energy and water.

STEM project Sarah Redfern High School - Eco friendly SRHS - explains a STEM project in which Stage 4 students designed and created solutions to reduce the school's carbon footprint.

Syllabus content

Energy audits provide opportunities for students to work mathematically in collecting, analysing and representing data.

Students use literacy skills in interviewing, collaborating and communicating proposed energy efficiency strategies.

Investigations into energy forms and sources uses working scientifically skills in support of the Science and Technology K-6 Syllabus and Science 7-10 Syllabus in:

  • Stage 1 Earth and space – conservation of Earth’s resources
  • Stage 2 Physical world – energy makes things happen
  • Stage 3 Physical world – transfer and transformation of energy, forces of energy in products and systems
  • Stage 4 Physical world – efficiency of energy conversions
  • Stage 4 Earth and space – how scientific understanding influences choices
  • Stage 5 Earth and space – use of scientific knowledge.

The design and production of energy efficient solutions can support the technology context of engineered systems in the Technology Mandatory 7-8 Syllabus.

Investigations into environmental changes relating to energy production can be undertaken as part of investigations in the Geography K-10 Syllabus in:

  • Stage 2 The Earth’s environment – significance of environments; protection of environments
  • Stage 3 Factors that shape places – factors that change environments
  • Stage 5 Environmental change and management – environmental change.

Additional resources

Energy management, School Infrastructure NSW provides advice on energy use and strategies for energy efficiency (staff only).

WebGraphs tool, for schools with solar panels, monitors school electricity use and solar generation. Email for school username and login.

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