The use of energy from fossil fuels is one of the biggest greenhouse gas emissions sources and creates the greatest impact on the environment. Becoming more energy efficient is the simplest way of reducing your impact on the environment, and also saving money.
When you think of energy use in schools and early learning services there are so many sources that are often kept in an idol status when not in use, still consuming energy (e.g. computers, air conditioning, television etc.). The best place to start when wanting to become more energy efficient is to do an energy audit. See below for more information on this and much more.
The information from councils below is varied and relates primarily to households. It's important to remember that energy tips apply no matter where you live or work!
Knox City Council
Knox Council has brief information on energy efficiency within the municipality. You can see this here.
Manningham City Council
Manningham Council has brief information on how to be more energy efficient, available through the website here.
Maroondah City Council
Maroondah Council has information on how to become more energy efficient at home and some great links to greenhouse gas calculators and energy saving calculators. Find out more information here.
Whitehorse City Council
Whitehorse Council have some general energy saving tips such as choosing energy efficient appliance. You can read more here.
Yarra Ranges Council
Yarra Ranges Council has information on ways to support greener living at home. You can find out more information here.
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Did you know? Uninsulated ceilings can waste 35% of your winter heating.
Incursion and Excursion Opportunities
CERES Energy Park
CERES run a number of different energy linked incursions for a range of different ages. You can view these through their sustainability hub here. They also have a Mobile Energy Classroom which is a fantastic demonstration of renewable energy and environmental solutions. Find out more here.
FutureSpark Bike Energy Trailer
The FutureSpark Bike Energy Trailer can be hired for events or incursions and used to engage, educate and entertain whilst highlighting how much power must be generated in order to run electrical appliances. Find out more here.
CERES Energy Park
CERES run a number of different energy linked excursions for a range of different ages. You can view these through their sustainability hub here.
Edendale Community Environment Farm
Edendale run a number of different excursions, with topics including energy for both primary and secondary students. You can find out more information here.
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Did you know? For every old style incandescent globe you replace with a compact fluorescent light you can save $43 in electricity costs?
The following Lesson Ideas and Resources are divided below based on the major topic. See the related website for more detailed information about specific lessons or resources.
Scootle, a national resource repository for curriculum activities, has resources on a broad range of energy topics. You will need your education email ready to login. Find the resources here.
Schools Water Efficiency Program (SWEP)
The Schools Water Efficiency program (SWEP) is a Victorian Government initiative that helps schools save water by monitoring usage using water meter data logger technology. The program has now been expanded to include electricity monitoring. Victorian schools can now monitor and record their daily electricity consumption through the SWEP website.
A school Energy audit is a powerful tool that will cost little or no money and, if acted upon, will likely save money on energy bills for this year and many years to come.
Department of Education
You can access consultants through the Department of Education to conduct an energy audit - they are contracted to provide services at a fixed price. These can be accessed through the school maintenance system. Find out more here.
Energy one of the categories for certification through the ResourceSmart Schools program and part of this requires schools to complete an energy audit. They have easily accessible resources available online here as well as curriculum links for the energy module.
Positive Charge is a program of the Australian Energy Foundation, a not-for-profit organisation committed to accelerating the energy transition by empowering communities to take action. They can offer energy saving advice and complete energy audits. They have great information for schools and early learning services here.
Cool Australia Aussie Energy Audit - Primary and Secondary Schools
You will need to login to access these materials. Find them by searching 'Energy Audit' in the Curriculum Materials section here.
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Did you know? You can save money on your power bill by turning off appliances, such as fridges, during the school holidays when facilities are not in use!
Appliance Energy Rating
A government initiative to provide information on energy efficient appliances. You can use an online energy rating calculator so you can determine annual running costs of appliances. See more here.
Wider Energy Issues
Have you been listening into the energy debate and wondered what the history is and the terminology that's bandied around? The Conversation provides academically informed articles on news and has created a glossary for the energy debate. Read more here.
Renew Solar Calculator
Renew (previously Alternative Technologies Australia) is a not-for-profit that can provide advice on a wide range of sustainability topics. They have recently set up an online calculator that can be used to provide advice on small scale solar systems. See more information here. They also have their widely used Sunulator calculator that can be used for large-scale solar systems to calculate repayments and input. See more information here.
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