Activity Introduction

Sunset Solar Panels-hero©WWFQuick summary: In this activity students complete a whole school energy audit. Using their data, students calculate usage, kilowatts and greenhouse gas emissions. Students make key recommendations on how energy use could be reduced at their school. They then link their findings to home-based projects that reduce energy usage.

Character-holding-icon_EnergyThis lesson can be used when working on the Energy Module of ResourceSmart AuSSI Vic Certification. By completing this lesson you will have completed the following actions:

Energy Checklist Compulsory Actions:

  • A1.1 – Have you completed an audit to assess energy usage around your school?
  • A1.2 – Have you collected data on past energy usage for at least two years?
  • A1.3 – Has this data been entered as your baseline data, and any anomalies explained?

Checklist data goals: No official data goals.

Australian Curriculum Links:

Cross curriculum priorities

Sustainability – OI.3 - Sustainable patterns of living rely on the interdependence of healthy social, economic and ecological systems. OI.6 – The sustainability of ecological, social and economic systems is achieved through informed individual and community action that values local and global equity and fairness across generations into the future. O1.7 Actions for a more sustainable future reflect values of care, respect and responsibility, and require us to explore and understand environments. O1.9 Sustainable futures result from actions designed to preserve and/or restore the quality and uniqueness of environments. 

General capabilities

Numeracy, Critical and creative thinking

Explicit content description

Mathematics Year 5

  • Choose appropriate units of measurement for length, area, volume, capacity and mass (ACMMG108)

Geography Year 5

  • Locate and collect relevant information and data from primary and secondary sources (ACHASSI095)
  • Reflect on learning to propose personal and/or collective action in response to an issue or challenge, and predict the probable effects(ACHASSI104)

Science Year 6

  • Scientific knowledge is used to inform personal and community decisions (ACSHE220)

Geography Year 6

  • Locate and collect relevant information and data rom primary and secondary sources (ACHASSI123)
  • Reflect on learning to propose personal and/or collective action in response to an issue or challenge, and predict the probable effects (ACHASSI132)

 Syllabus OutcomesGE3-4ST3-6PWMA3-10MG, MA3-11MG, MA3-12MG, MA3-9MG, MA3‑1WM MA3‑2WM, MA3‑3WM

Connecting lessons: AuSSI Transport Audit.

Resources required: Student worksheet, internet access, school electricity and gas bills, energy factsheets: Energy cheat sheetCalculating GHG emissions and Typical power ratings for appliances.

Digital technology opportunities: Prezi presentation tool, digital sharing capabilities.

Keywords: Energy, audit, greenhouse gas emissions, school, appliances, C02e emissions.


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Teacher Worksheet

Sea Wind Farm-hero©WWFTeacher preparation:

Overarching learning goals:

  • Students recognise the relationship between energy use and greenhouse gas emissions.
  • Students understand the relationship between watts, watt hours and kilowatts.
  • Students understand how to apply Emission Factor figures to the calculation of greenhouse gas emissions.
  • Students recognise where energy consumption can be reduced at their school and home.

Teacher content information: Electrical energy is part of our everyday lives at home, at work and at school. Most of our energy is produced by burning fossil fuels and this has a range of environmental, social and economic impacts. One of the most significant impacts is the release of greenhouse gases. A solution is a transition to clean energy sources. Another solution is to think about our personal energy footprint and reduce the amount of energy we use.

In technical terms, energy is the ability to make changes or the capacity to do work. Energy appears in many different forms i

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Student Worksheet

Thought starter: What is the difference between electricity and energy?

School Energy Audit Workbook - Starting your audit

Why do an energy audit?

By doing an energy audit you will be able to:

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

Understand more about energy and energy consumption with the Energy cheat sheet.

Doing your audit

Step 1. Work out where the energy is being used at your school.

Each group will be assigned some rooms that they will audit. Once in your room, have a look at the appliances (including lighting) that are in the room. Think about how often they are used: Everyday? Once a week? Once a month? Rarely? Never? Only in summer or only in winter? And where is the energy being wasted? For example, are lights being left on in unoccupied rooms? Record your answers on Table 1.

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