Researchers turn the spotlight on electricity use at schools
25 February 2021
A recent study of the energy usage of 16 schools in Stellenbosch has found that schools’ annual electricity costs can be significantly reduced by replacing outdated fluorescent lights with the most efficient LED lighting option available.
The team of researchers from Stellenbosch University determined that while South African schools used substantially less electricity than those in other countries, the average school in the sample set uses 450 kWh (units) at a cost of more than R865 per school day.
The researchers used smart meters to capture the schools’ electricity usage. The study found that the affluent schools used substantially more energy than poorer schools due to poorer schools’ lack of equal access to energy-consuming resources.
Lighting accounted for between 31% and 57% of schools’ electricity expenditure.
Schools could reduce their annual electricity cost by 21%-39% by replacing outdated fluorescent lights with the best performing (OrbitX) LED lights.
The researchers tested eight different LED lights and found usage could be reduced by 68% per light.
The research forms part of a larger project that aims to support improved school management and policy making and help reduce the drain on the national electricity grid and damage to the environment.
For more information, visit https://bit.ly/schoolselectricitycosts