Posted 27 March 2018 - 1:52pm
Australian school students are learning how to measure and reduce their school’s carbon footprint, saving schools almost $30,000 collectively on utility bills by using the ClimateClever Program.
The ClimateClever Initiative, a low carbon, educational program underpinned by an innovative, data-driven App, is supported by the CRC for Low Carbon Living.
The program is being rolled out nationally after the success of its two-year pilot program in Western Australia involving 8,729 students across 15 schools, resulting in 83 tonnes of carbon emissions being saved along with significant energy and water savings.
Dr Vanessa Rauland, research fellow at the Curtin University Sustainability Policy Institute and founder of the ClimateClever Initiative, has just returned from West Kimberley where she held information forums and school visits in conjunction with Horizon Power, who have recently partnered with ClimateClever to subsidise schools in Broome to join the program.
“My visit with Horizon Power aimed to build community awareness, increase knowledge of energy-use and introduce our App, which enables schools to manage and reduce carbon emissions associated with electricity, gas, water and waste, save money on utility bills, and improve student learning around sustainability, climate change and carbon reduction."
Students use an online carbon calculator, building audit tool and personalised climate action plan to track their annual emissions and compare their results with other schools.
“We are excited to be expanding the initiative nationally and to have the opportunity to educate and upskill the next generation about climate change and how we can create a low carbon future," said Dr Rauland.
“I’m really proud of the impact this pilot has had in just two years and we are currently compiling the results from the 15 schools that initially participated, which will be released in a few months."
Dr Rauland said there are no current benchmarks and few rigorous, data-driven programs targeting how to measure energy and water consumption and carbon emissions in Australian schools.
“There’s a lot of wastage occurring in schools through inefficiencies that could easily be prevented. Considering the constant budget cuts facing schools, there’s huge opportunity for financial savings both for schools and Education Departments,” said Dr Rauland.
Horizon Power Retail and Community Manager, Jodie Lynch, said the program supports schools and their students. “This is a great program as we all want more control around our energy usage and electricity bills – the program also provides motivation for similar initiatives to be implemented in the home.”
Major savings reported by participating schools included:
- Switching off gas heating pilot lights saved one school $29.35 a day
- One school saved $6400 a year on incorrect billing for non-existent toilets
- Another school saved $8000 on every electricity bill by fixing their Building Management System
- 10,000 litres of water saved by one school after leaks were fixed
- Many schools have now implemented comprehensive ‘switch off’ campaigns before summer, saving thousands of dollars
For more information or to register your school visit ClimateClever