Activity Introduction

Quick summary: Students collect data about the school’s energy consumption and look at ways energy consumption can be reduced. The audit of the school’s energy use and other information that students gather will form the basis of their recommendations and actions.

Key lessons and understandings of activity:

  • To make the best changes to reduce energy use, we should collect and analyse the data first.

Australian Curriculum Mapping

Content descriptions:

Year 5 Mathematics

  • Pose questions and collect categorical or numerical data by observation or survey (ACMSP118)
  • Describe and interpret different data sets in context (ACMSP120)

Year 5 Science

  • Light from a source forms shadows and can be absorbed, reflected and refracted (ACSSU080)

Year 6 Mathematics

  • Interpret and compare a range of data displays, including side-by-side column graphs for two categorical variables (ACMSP147)

Year 6 Science

  • Energy from a variety of sources can be used to generate electricity (ACSSU219)
  • Scientific understandings, discoveries and inventions are used to solve problems that directly affect peoples’ lives (ACSHE100)

Syllabus OutcomesST3-6PW, ST3-7PWMA3-18SP, MA3‑1WM, MA3‑3WM.

Topic: Energy

Year levels: 5 and 6

Indoor or outdoor activity: Indoor

Time required: 70 + mins, this lesson may be extended over several lessons.

Learning areas addressed: Mathematics, Science.

Level of teacher scaffolding: Assist students with audit, with gaining access to existing school energy information, and with communicating recommendations to school management. Inform staff if your students will cause any disruptions while gathering data.

Resources required: School energy bills, writing materials, printed workbook for each student.

Homework and extension opportunities: This is a long activity and could be extended over several lessons, the final of which could be used to present findings and recommendations to school management.

Keywords: Energy, audit, conservation.

Cool Australia’s curriculum team continually reviews and refines our resources to be in line with changes to the Australian Curriculum.


Teacher Worksheet

Teacher preparation


Does your school already have an energy reduction policy and program? An audit can be used to monitor and improve its success. Otherwise, an audit can be the start of a school energy reduction campaign.

There are many environmental benefits, but also financial benefits for schools to reduce their energy consumption.

There are some energy uses that at first look wasteful. Schools have lights on at night for security reasons, as vandalism and even arson are significant issues for education systems across Australia.

The energy use in schools is shifting. The amount of electricity used in computer rooms and other computers has been increasing. 

In particular, older schools have large heating systems which can only be controlled by turning them on or off. Working out the best time to do this is quite important.

Schools will have their own unique issues often due to how the school was first built and how it currently uses energy. The audit workbook s

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Student Worksheet

School energy audit workbook

School name:

Students doing audit:

Date started audit:


Starting your audit

Why do an energy audit?

By doing an energy audit you will be able to:

• Look at the energy uses at your school;
• Record the details of the energy used;
• Make some evaluations or judgments about the schools’ energy use; and
• Make some recommendations to the business about how to save energy and money.

Doing your audit

Start your audit by finding out the total amount of energy used at your school over one year. You can do this by examining the school’s energy bill. By using the school’s energy bill you can also work out the financial cost of this energy for the year (you can always just use a bill for a three-month period and then multiply it by four to get a yearly average).

Mark down your findings on the tables provided (Tables 1 and 2).

Looking at your schools' energy

Table 1. Electricity

Billing date     Electricity consumption Electricity cost 
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