SET UP THE ENERGY TEAM
The energy team will be the responsible for the activities, from this group depends the results of the project. This team will be formed by pupils, teachers, representative of the municipalities and an energy expert. It will have to plan and develop the tasks that are described in the following steps. The energy team will coordinate the project and take the necessary decisions to ensure proper operation, it will communicate the activities and its results inside and outside the school.
Inspection of the school's energy use
The purpose of this step is to understand how energy is used in the school (e.g. power sources, lighting, etc). and set the basis for the future energy tour. Teachers together with the responsible for maintenance will explain how the school facility works under the energetic point of view, students will learn how energy is used and where it comes from by inspecting areas usually unknown to them: boilers, radiators, air conditioning units, kitchens, light sources, windows, the shape of water pipes, the existence or absence of temperature control devices (thermostats) etc.
Knowledge, awareness and planning
This is the step where the energy experts will give a lecture on sustainability and environmental risks to pupils. In order for the project to be developed properly, children in the energy team must have a theoretical understanding of various issues related to sustainability and energy saving. The lecture is expected to have a multiplier effect, if pupils understand the reasons behind the 50/50 project, it will be more likely for them to tell what they learned to other students and families. The project is not merely for fun or funds. The 50/50 project aims to trigger energy awareness, to spread knowledge, to teach children that we have an opportunity to do something about climate, about climate change, to convey messages such as: “Not all is lost...if we act now” "I can do something that will make a difference!"
The energy team with the help of the energy expert will map the consumptions in the school on the basis of the inspection made in Step 2 and observe which areas in the school need energy improvements. Using the instruments provided in the toolkit, the energy team will examine HVAC system (following the pipes in the school), lighting and other electric devices, water, trash. The data emerged in the energy tour will be recorded in the spreadsheet for the calculation of savings provided in the tookit and they will be the benchmark for the energy team’s action plan.
After the energy tour around the school is completed the energy team will have a more precise idea of the real situation. Though the diagnosis made so far, it will be possible to have a map of energy consumption. The map of the school will indicate all the energy devices and rooms will be given a colour-code (i.e., very hot, red; very cold, blue). Apart the information about the building, it is also interesting to know the habits of pupils. The energy team will therefore create a survey in order to gather information regarding: complaints about temperature, air quality, etc. in the classrooms; opinions about the use of electronic devices and facilities; opinions about other energy issues related to their school.
The pupils in the energy team develop and present solutions or improvements in all those areas where they believe the school can do something. At the same time, it should be discussed how to follow up these actions and the results. Whenever possible, specific goals will be set out in terms of numbers (i.e., reduction of hours with lights on, temperature in classrooms no longer more than 25 degrees in winter, etc.) . It also would be important to give deadlines for completion of the proposed actions and time schedules for achieving the objectives set out.
Dissemination of the results
At this point, the energy team will show other children in the school what they have learnt and what can be done to save energy. Dissemination will also be targeted to parents and other adults, some activities for example can be arranged in occasion of the party at the end of the year. Other examples of activities can be: posters and wallpapers; events at school; workshops; an energy saving week; setting up a performance. Furthermore, the energy team will share the results on the project’s website, here it twill have the possibility to interact with the other participating schools.
When the energy team implements the action plan, some actions which require small investments may emerge. These actions should be listed and sent, together with an informative letter or a summary of the project to: school management, administrators, potential sponsors, etc. Sometimes small amounts of money can be found along the way. Keep in mind that the aim of this project is not to make huge investments.
Calculation and use of the money saved by the school
At the end of every year of the project, it is time to decide how to spend the money which the school has saved as a result of actions carried out. It also will be necessary to explain to the school management the advantages of reinvesting the money in energy-saving measures, also in financial terms.