PlanetSavers come to Kew Primary School

planetsavers-4As part of our $10,000 Energy Efficiency Grant for Victorian Schools, Mark Smith from PlanetSavers Australia came to Kew Primary School to complete an audit. This audit is the first step in identifying energy waste and it also provided a list of costed recommendations that could see our school reduce energy waste by over 25%.
Sounds like a good idea? Well even better was the way PlanetSavers engaged with student leaders to first assist with the audit itself and then develop strategies and processes for the school to act.

The day started with a briefing from Mark to our student team consisting of Gleda, Alex, Paris, Angus and Sam. During the briefing the team discovered what data needed to be collected and how it would be collected. This involved using a lux level meter to record the lighting levels in each space and also a laser thermometer that could be pointed at any surface for a temperature reading.

planetsavers-5Time was then spent walking around the school and recording specific data in each classroom, office and other spaces. Lights were counted, various readings taken, lists of all heating and cooling equipment were collated and the extensive list of observations and recordings continued.

The main data that was recorded around the school was the temperature and the lighting levels. This is based on the typical energy consumption breakdown for schools as per this graph:

planetsavers-1During the audit process Mark explained that overall there are two key factors that have a significant impact on energy consumption within a school:

1. The quality and energy-saving potential of existing school electrical, gas appliances and infrastructure.
2. The way in which staff and students use that equipment and infrastructure and the level of control that staff and students have over that infrastructure.

Following the data collection the school received a detailed report outlining a range of recommendations that we might use to target the grant funding on.
Some of these included:
• Replacing double 58W T8 fittings with LED light panels. We have 46 of these across the school. The estimated replacement cost is $5,520. The payback time for this investment would be 2.9 years.
• Replacing the twin T8 fluorescent fittings with energy-efficient LED panels. We have 141 of these and replacement is estimated to cost $15,510 across the whole school. The payback time for this investment would be 6.6 years.
• Timer delay switches in toilet blocks. This is estimated to cost $500 with a payback time for this investment of 3.1 years.
• Installing a timer on the large hot water service. This is estimated to cost $400 with a payback time of 1.6 years.

Our Buildings & Grounds team will have a detailed look at this report. We will then seek a range of quotes for the works that will be of most benefit to our school and use the grant funding to implement them.

Most importantly though, the simplest and most effective option is to turn off the lights when exiting rooms. KPS will soon implement a student action program of turning off lights. This will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by an estimated 4.8 tonnes per year and have the added benefit of instilling staff and students with a culture of energy conservation.

The cost is nothing and the payback is immediate!

James Penson


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