Action on Carbon and Energy in Schools (ACES)

Energy Efficiency Checklist for Schools

Our ACES Energy Efficiency Checklist is a helpful tool for schools. Find out how much energy your school is using, and spot areas where you can reduce costs, and cut carbon emissions.

Schools play a vital role in their communities – help yours lead the way, by taking action to cut your energy use.

Download our Schools Energy Efficiency Checklist [PDF] and start your energy efficiency journey.

Schools energy and carbon reduction checklist

This checklist is intended to be used as a general overview of actions to be taken.

Incorporating energy efficiency practices within schools is an important step towards building a sustainable future. Our easy-to-use checklist provides a valuable resource for educational institutions looking to reduce their carbon footprint, save energy, and inspire environmental responsibility among students. By adopting the checklist’s recommendations and fostering a culture of sustainability, schools can become exemplary models for a greener society.

Download the full checklist (PDF) or just look below at this sample of points raised. How many actions has your school implemented yet?

[click on the headings to expand]

Current energy use

  • Do you know the school’s recent annual kWh for electricity and fossil fuels (gas, oil, LPG)?
  • Do you know the school’s current electricity and fossil fuels costs, including price per kWh?
  • Do you record or confirm meter readings regularly?
  • Do you know the school’s recent annual tonnes of CO2e (carbon dioxide equivalent) from energy consumption?

Analyse energy use

  • Do you compare the school’s annual kWh and CO2e year on year, noting changes?
  • Do you know the school’s annual kWh per m2 and compare this year on year?

Get organised

  • Do you know the insulation levels in the school’s walls, roofs, and floors?
  • Do you review controls for external lighting to ensure they are off when not needed?
  • Do you know the school is heated, including the different systems and where controls are located?
  • Do you know the set temperature and heating times?

Set goals

  • Develop an action plan, with clear targets for managing your school building’s energy use going forward.
  • Have documented procedures to manage day-to-day energy use, including logging any improvements made, so you can check them against the data collected.
  • Agree whose responsibility it will be to oversee day-to-day energy use, for example, a building caretaker.
  • Decide how to measure overall progress against your targets and set up regular reviews – this can also help with communications.
  • Agree whose responsibility it will be to lead on strategy and reviews, for example, a school governor or trustee, an interested teacher, a member of the management team, or the building caretaker.

Internal communications

  • Ensure your management committee regularly reviews the strategy for making the building work more efficiently when it comes to energy and move towards Net Zero carbon emissions as soon as possible.
  • Ensure that training is regularly updated and repeated when necessary. This might occur when new people join, when new technologies are adopted (such as new heating), or even when a reminder just proves beneficial.
  • Share any targets you have set with those using and helping run the building, as well as updates on how it is going – say ‘thank you’ when improvements are made or targets met.
  • Include people who are in the school out-of-hours, such as cleaners.

Don’t forget to communicate your successes

Highlighting the positive environmental impact of your school’s efforts is not only valuable for internal motivation but also serves as a powerful tool for communicating your commitment to the wider community.

Get implementing!

Once you have your data at your fingertips, an energy strategy and people on board, it’s time to start on some improvements. Download the full checklist for some small actions with big results.

Next steps

If you are interested in learning more about how we can support you make your school building more efficient, please reach out to us at Our team of experts will provide you with all the necessary information and guidance to embark on your school’s energy efficiency journey.

*CO2e = carbon dioxide equivalent

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