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Switch Off Fortnight

Take part in Switch Off Fortnight from 8-21 November

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How can schools save energy?

Switch Off Fortnight is a nationwide campaign that takes place every November to encourage schools to switch off lights and electrical appliances when not in use for two weeks. The goals for schools are to help them save energy and monitor the impact of changing user behaviour on the school’s energy use.

Switch Off Fortnight is also a fantastic opportunity to educate the future generation about the benefits of reducing their energy use (both at school and home) and help them understand how making small changes in their own lives can collectively help to tackle the climate emergency. This year’s Switch Off Fortnight campaign, run by the Pod in partnership with the Energy Saving Trust Foundation, is taking place from 8-21 November 2021 – and deliberately overlaps with COP26 so that schools and their students can contribute to conversations around climate change.

The Pod has developed a range of new learning resources, including a film, assembly, and factsheets, for this year’s Switch Off Fortnight to help students understand what net zero is, why COP26 matters, and what steps they can take to reduce their energy use. There are also a limited number of campaign packs – containing posters and stickers – for schools that sign up to Switch Off Fortnight, distributed on a first come, first served basis.

To take part, schools first need to join the Pod. It takes just a few minutes to sign up, following the steps below. Encourage other schools in your community to take part too!

Other things for schools to consider

Lighting

  • Switch all lightbulbs in the school to LEDs. You’ll have a positive impact on the environment and reduce carbon emissions.
  • Fit sensors to lights both inside and outside the school, to ensure that they’re only switched on when they need to be.

Appliances

  • Televisions can be the most power-hungry of all entertainment equipment. Use flat LCD screens and choose smaller screen sizes where possible.
  • Laptops typically use 85% less electricity over a year than desktop PCs, while tablets have even lower energy usage. And remember to turn them off when they’re not being used.

Transport

  • Why not walk, cycle or scoot the next time you travel to school? If it’s too far, take public transport instead of the car.
  • If your school has a fleet of buses or other vehicles, consider switching these to electric options.

Water

  • If staff and students need to shower after exercise at school, try to time your shower to just 4 minutes to save water and energy.
  • Use cistern displacement devices in school toilets – when you flush, the device inflates, saving you up to two litres every time.

Heating and ventilation

  • Choose the most energy efficient boiler to keep your school’s energy bills down. Modern boilers are generally condensing boilers, which makes them more efficient than older models.
  • Take control of heating in your school’s building, by turning down the thermostat a couple of degrees and only turning on the heating when necessary.
  • It’s also worth upgrading air conditioners to newer, more efficient systems – or use ceiling or window fans if you can, to reduce energy usage.

Insulation

  • Draught-proofing rooms is one of the cheapest and most effective ways to save energy in any type of building. Check the seals around doors and windows to reduce heat loss and create draught lobbies using a double set of doors.
  • A quarter of heat is lost through the roof of an uninsulated building, so ensure appropriate roof insulation to reduce heat loss and lower your school’s heating bills.
  • Schools should also consider using renewable systems that generate energy and create outdoor classrooms.

Take part in Switch Off Fortnight

To take part, schools first need to join the Pod. It takes just a few minutes to sign up.

Sign up today

Last updated: 15 September 2021