Municipal electricity costs in South Africa have risen by 173% in the last ten years; an average annual increase of 17.3%. At the same time, public funding for schools has been dropped in real terms by 8% per learner over the last 7 years. As electricity costs can form a significant proportion of school budgets there is a need to understand how electricity is used in schools and to identify and evaluate options for reducing electricity consumption and related costs.
In order to identify the smartest options for improving the energy performance of schools, a rapid identification and evaluation methodology is proposed and tested. The methodology, based on an Energy Use Model (EUM), is applied to a school in Pretoria, South Africa to understand current electricity use. Characteristics of existing infrastructure and usage are used in the EUM to generate and evaluate interventions to reduce electricity consumption. Interventions are also evaluated in terms of practical and financial feasibility in order to rank these.
The paper concludes that the EUM-based methodology provides a useful way of identifying, and quantifying, interventions to improve energy performance for schools. Recommendations for further development of the approach are made.
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