Carbon Free Classrooms Update 2016

Hard to believe Carbon Free Classrooms is already a year old! (watch the video here) In that time we’ve made tremendous progress and formed a strong group of students and staff passionate about doing more than just learning about climate change, but taking action to help solve climate change.

The Carbon Free Classrooms team is on a mission to:

  • Reduce school power usage and save money
  • Transition from dirty power (coal, oil etc) to clean alternatives
  • Build a culture clean energy amongst this generation of students

The last 12 months have represented a period of analysing and measuring our usage and we’ve had some interesting findings:

1. When no-one is at school we still use a lot of energy.
We call this usage “Baseload”.  The baseload is the energy used when no-one is here; holiday periods, the middle of the night, etc.  Some contributing factors are likely, IT equipment, security lights, hot water units, classrooms lights and air-conditioners that are left on.

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2. We are far above the state Victorian benchmark for power usage per student. Our job now is to analyse the last 12 months of data to come up with some strategies to test next year.

3. We use more power in the cooler weather (contrary to what many experts advised us)

It's important that we didn’t just start making changes until we established a baseline. The last 12 months have been about monitoring the data, asking questions and making sure our initiatives have the best chance to make a difference.

Time for Solar

Our solar array is here!  One big initiative that’s been consuming the group for the last 6 months has been the installation of a solar array.  Last year the senior and junior school councils both proposed putting solar into the school (among other possible investments of $10,000 allocated for student budgetary participation), and the student body voted very strongly in favour of these proposals - they even cheered when it was announced at general assembly. Their passion for our environment is clear.


A big thanks to the Carbon free classroom group and in particular Skyler Kah who lead the process.  Skyler investigated multiple companies, quotes, solar types and installation options of our brand new solar system.  The new system situated on the the new Music building roof and serves as a visible reminder of the schools steps toward a cleaner future.  Read about Skyler’s journey on the Carbon Free Classrooms website.

The solar array comes with live monitoring for all of us to analyse.  Check out the live energy graph in the reception foyer or here:

As we enter a time of uncertainty with the change of US government, climate change is now, more than ever, up to each of us.  Help us get off dirty coal and set an example to the next generation.  If you’d like to sign up and start taking action visit: