close search area
Home / Your Steps / Energy at school


Most of the energy used in schools is for heating and cooling, lighting and powering equipment. There are smart ways for everyone to work together to reduce your school’s carbon footprint by  making a few small changes.

Energy at school



  • The sun is our greatest natural source of energy, so maximise the natural daylight that shines in through your classroom windows each day by rearranging desks and furniture around windows and skylights.
  • Turn off lights, heating and cooling at recess and lunch when you are not using them.
  • Use energy efficient light sources such as compact fluorescent lights (CFLs) that use up to 75% less electricity than normal incandescent globes – and they last up to ten times longer. While they do cost more initially, each globe saves around $80 in electricity bills over its lifetime, as well as reducing greenhouse gases by around 650 kilograms for each globe.
  • Keep heaters and air conditioners set at the right temperature to avoid over heating or cooling. Between 18-21°C is right in winter and 25°C in summer, and can save as much as 15% on energy bills.
  • Make sure that photocopiers, computers, printers and monitors are switched off at night and on weekends.
  • Minimise the amount of hot water you use by fixing any leaking hot water taps and installing aerators.
  • Kettles and instant water boilers are more efficient than large urns.
  • Heat just enough water for tea and coffee – it’s easy to heat more than you need unnecessarily.


  • Work as a class to conduct an energy audit of your school. Consider how energy and resources are used. Count all the light bulbs, power points and appliances. Also assess water usage. Then develop a checklist of how things can be improved.
  • Become an energy monitor and ensure lights, heating and equipment are turned off at the end of each day.


  • Walk, ride or catch public transport to get to school.
  • Grow a school veggie garden and use the produce at the canteen so food doesn’t have to travel so far.