Energy

Energy is the second theme that schools undertake during the Green-Schools programme and we aim to work towards obtaining it by 2012 for reduction in energy consumption. Children are encouraged to switch off lights and appliances when not in use and to close doors and windows to conserve heat.

Here is a copy of our Action Plan.

 We held a ‘No Energy Day’ in April to raise awareness and encourage people to save energy to benefit the environment.  Ms. Murphy’s class organised an experiment workshop  for other classes to take part!

Here are some of the Energy Themed displays that we have created throughout the year.

The Green Schools Committee organised a ‘Low Energy Day’ in October to make others aware of the benefits of saving energy.  It was a very successful day and we has a visit from Kieran Marron from Activ8 to speak about his solar energy business.  In order to stay warm and cosy, the staff and pupils wore their pyjamas as the heat and electricity was turned off for the day.

We took part in a Human Powered Workshop where the students used manually powered equipment to operate a number of items including a smoothie bike and fibre optic lamps.

6th class visited a wind turbine in Dundalk Institute of Technology and they learned lots about renewable sources of energy.

 On 19th November the children took part in a Tree Workshop.  They learned about lots of different animals, birds and insects and their habitats. In the afternoon each child planted an individual family tree on the school grounds. Sixty six trees were planted in total.  We would like to thank Niall O’Connor (Environmental Officer for Monaghan Co. Council) for inviting us to partake in this fabulous workshop.

We have undertaken a survey of lights and appliances and highlighted areas where improvements can be made.

  • We have implemented  a ‘switch off’ and ‘close the door’ policy.
  • We have investigated room and corridor temperatures and made recommendations.
  • We have undertaken a home energy survey, published the results and issued energy saving tips.
  • We have taken part in An Taisce/ESB energy project
  • We held a ‘Low Energy Day’ which helped to promote Energy Awareness.
  • We continue to monitor the amount of electricity used by taking weekly readings of the electricity meter.
  • We continue to monitor the amount of oil used by regularly dipping the oil tank.
  • We have availed of grants to improve our insulation.
  • We have installed new doors and double glazed windows where possible.
  • We have installed thermometers in every room to monitor temperatures.
  • We continue to inform and involve the school and wider community about our activities using a newsletter, school website, local newspaper & school assembly.
  • We encourage lowering energy consumption through curriculum work.
  • We have an Energy Code which was designed by the pupils:
        
 
 
 
“Show the Earth you care, Be Energy aware!”
 
When you’re leaving the classroom,
Remember one thing,
Close the door behind you
To keep the heat in!
 
It’s easy to save energy
And save your euro too
Switch off the light when it is bright
That’s all you have to do!
 

Home Energy Tips That Save You Money:

Lights  
If you use a particular light for an average of four hours or more a day, then replace it with an energy-saving equivalent – which will use around a quarter of the electricity and last up to 12 times longer. Each energy efficient bulb fitted could give you an estimated saving of €10.50 off your energy bill per year. Turn off the light when leaving the room.

Kettles
Heat the amount of water you really need and if you’re using an electric kettle, make sure you cover the elements. More modern kettles have no visible element so you use less water, you could also try to fill a cup and use it as a guide to fill the kettle, so that you boil the right amount of water.

Curtains
At night, pull the curtains to stop heat being lost through the windows.
Take care not to drape curtains over radiators as this will funnel heat straight out of the windows.

Hot Water
Of course it should be hot, but it doesn’t need to be scalding. For most people, setting the cylinder thermostat at 60°C/140°F is fine for bathing and washing. This can save up to €15 per year. Ensure that your cylinder has a lagging jacket fitted.

Television, Hi-Fi and Computers
Switch off your TV, video and Hi-Fi at the set. Standby can use as much as 10%-60% of the electricity that would be used by the device if it was switched on. Also don’t forget to turn your Computer monitor off, as it too wastes electricity if left on.

Appliances  
When purchasing kitchen appliances such as fridges, freezers, dishwashers and washing machines, opt for a more energy efficient appliance. An EU Energy Label should be displayed (A to G Scale) on appliances for sale in order to help you make a choice, “A” being the most efficient and “G” being the worst guzzler for energy.

Switching Energy Supplier
In the current rising trend of energy prices it could well be worth shopping around to save money on your energy bills, further discounts are available if you switch both gas & electricity to the same supplier. It is a simple process and there is no disruption to your existing energy supply.

Timers:
Use the timer on your immersion heater. This should supply you with enough hot water as and when you need it.

Electric Shower:
Take a shower rather than a bath. A typical shower uses  1/5 of the energy of a full bath.

Microwaves:
In a microwave oven, arrange unevenly shaped items with the thickest portion to the outside. Stir or turn the food over to speed up cooking time. Remember a microwave is more efficient than a cooker for reheating food.  

Heaters:

  • When buying heaters, make sure that they are the right size for the rooms they are to heat, and that they have thermostatic controls.
  • Remember that electric heaters other than storage heaters consume electricity at the most expensive charge rate.
  • Use a space or portable heater instead of the central heater, if only one room needs heating.
  • Choose heaters with thermostat controls and timers.

Cooking: 

Put lids on pots and turn down the heat when the water starts to boil. The lids not only keep heat in the pot but also reduce condensation in the kitchen.

At a certain point in cooking, turn off electric rings and use their residual heat.

Lots of energy saving cooking devices are under used: like slow casseroles, insulated deep fat fryers, microwave ovens and pressure cookers. They can save both energy and time – with better results!

Insulation:  

  • Much of the heat loss from a house occurs through the windows particularly if they are single glazed. Keep curtains closed at night and ensure that the curtains don’t hang over the radiators.
  • A reflective foil, backed by insulation if space permits should be fixed behind radiators mounted on external walls.
  • A lagging jacket on your hot water cylinder will keep water hotter for longer and pay for itself in 2-3 months.
  • If replacing the hot water cylinder, a cylinder with factory applied insulation should be considered. Such insulation is more effective at retaining heat than a lagging jacket, is less easily damaged and cannot be pulled out of place.
  • Insulate your attic and save up to 20% on your home heating bill 

 Motoring Tips 

  • Avoid using your car for short or unnecessary journeys. Try to walk, cycle or use public transport instead. 
  • Plan ahead by combining trips (such as shopping and the school run) to avoid taking the car out several times.
  • Try to use less congested routes and avoid rush hours if possible.

 When Driving Your Car

  • Driving at high speed (over 50 mph and especially over 60mph) uses more fuel and causes more pollution.  Try to keep to lower speeds.
  • An aggressive driving style can lead to an increase in fuel consumption of 10-12% above average. 

 Operating the Car’s Equipment

  • Switch the rear screen demister off when the window is clear because when it is switched on your fuel consumption rises by 3% – 5%.
  • Close the windows and use the vents instead because when your front window is half open your fuel consumption increases by 5% at 50 mph
  • When your sunroof is open fuel consumption rises by approximately 4%. When it is half open it increases by approximately 3%.
  • Use air-conditioning sparingly – running air-conditioning continuously increases fuel consumption significantly. 

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