Activity Introduction

Quick summary: Students complete a energy audit of their school. Using their data, students calculate usage, kilowatts and greenhouse gas emissions. Students then make key recommendations to the school Principal as to how energy use could be reduced.

Learning goals for this activity include:

  • Collected data to identify the energy (electricity and gas) use and associated greenhouse gas emissions at a local business and/or at school.
  • Analyse data to identify opportunities for improving energy efficiency through behaviour and energy efficient appliances.
  • Present recommendations in a report supported by the collected data.
  • Demonstrate ability to work collaboratively and follow written instructions to complete activity.
  • Perform mathematical calculations to complete activity.
  • Communicate lessons from activity through art or literacy exercises.


Australian Curriculum Mapping

Content descriptions:

Year 9 Science

  • Plan, select and use appropriate investigation methods, including field work and laboratory experimentation, to collect reliable data; assess risk and address ethical issues associated with these methods  (ACSIS165)
  • Communicate scientific ideas and information for a particular purpose, including constructing evidence-based arguments and using appropriate scientific language, conventions and representations (ACSIS174) 

Year 9 Mathematics

  • Identify everyday questions and issues involving at least one numerical and at least one categorical variable, and collect data directly from secondary sources (ACMSP228)

Year 10 Science

  • Plan, select and use appropriate investigation methods, including field work and laboratory experimentation, to collect reliable data; assess risk and address ethical issues associated with these methods (ACSIS199)
  • Communicate scientific ideas and information for a particular purpose, including constructing evidence-based arguments and using appropriate scientific language, conventions and representations (ACSIS208)

Syllabus OutcomesSC5-5WS, SC5-6WS, SC5-9WS

Year levels: 9 and 10

Indoor or outdoor activity: Indoor

Time required: 120+ mins, this lesson may be extended over several lessons.

Learning areas addressed: Mathematics, Geography, ICT, Interpersonal Development.

Level of teacher scaffolding: Assist students with design, implementation and analysis of audit.

Resources required: Student worksheet, Internet access, writing materials, calculator

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 the school or business whose energy use you are auditing.

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

The Audit

Option 1: Teachers can follow the simple energy audit provided in the student worksheet. This has sequential steps on how to collect the data and complete all the calculations involved. Teachers will need to divide up the class into small groups and allocate specific rooms for students to audit. A school map will help with this process. Groups can use an ipad or laptop to enter the data into a one student worksheet and electronically submit this to the teacher. 

Option 2: Designing the audit - For a greater challenge, students can design their own audit. If they do want to create their own, the following sites might be useful in thinking about what you will need:

Resource smart has very useful information sheets to download about conducting an audit. 

Questions to answer when designing the audit

• What is the present energy usage and associated financial cost for a day/week/month/year?
• What are the greenhouse gas emissions for those time frame

- or - to view worksheets

Student Worksheet

Energy Audit Workbook - School





Starting your audit

Why do an energy audit?

By doing an energy audit you will be able to:

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

Doing your audit

Step 1.

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. And using the school 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
Electricity cos
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