Lisarow High School – NSW Schools Energy Productivity Program


lisarow high school energy efficiency

About SEPP

The NSW Schools Energy Productivity Program (SEPP) is an initiative developed by the NSW public school sector.
The program was designed to:

  • demonstrate the benefits of energy productivity improvements and renewables
  • accelerate the adoption of renewable energy for NSW public schools
  • provide an engagement and implementation strategy for the NSW public schools sector to implement renewable energy and energy productivity over a 5-to-10-year period.

ERM Power was engaged by Schools Infrastructure NSW (SINSW) in the $1M pilot program which was co-funded by the ARENA Advancing Renewables Program.

About Lisarow High School

One of the schools in the pilot was Lisarow High School. Located in Lisarow NSW, Lisarow High School had previously implemented sustainability projects within the school, however the cost of electricity remained high and staff felt like there was little that could be done to positively impact these prices.

The ERM Approach

ERM Power’s unique Advise, Deliver, Track (ADT) methodology worked to assist Lisarow High School across all aspects of the energy management cycle. ERM’s unique ability to offer end-to-end expertise in the energy market streamlined a logistically complex process which often requires multiple providers.

As part of the pilot program, ERM Power’s technical experts conducted an audit at Lisarow to identify energy savings opportunities. The comprehensive energy audit involved undertaking detailed lighting audits, lighting specification and design, as well as solar design and sizing analysis. ERM thoroughly inspected the school’s existing infrastructure to ensure current equipment was considered in the development of future energy management solutions. Lisarow staff were then presented with an Energy Audit Report, giving them recommendations that were deeply quantifiable, accurate and evidence based.

Additionally, ERM Power created a tailored engagement program that sought to equip key school stakeholders with basic energy literacy. This was delivered through two coaching sessions, a six-part education program and info hub that focused on new energy behaviours that were easy to action.

This program was coupled with ERM Power’s digital tools – the Sustainability Digital Posterboard and the ERM Power demand tracking mobile app.

All the tools used throughout the program were tailored to the busy school environment, allowing schools to easily manage their energy, share energy data and educate the school community.

We are really busy as teachers, we have all of these things competing for our time, so having this at the forefront and clear and having great, interactive technology that we can engage students with has been a real bonus.

- Mr Ben Surwald, Teacher, Lisarow High School

The Impact

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Upgrades made to
LED lights

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Savings in electricity
bills per annum

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191 CO2

avoided (t)

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222 MWh

per annum

Previously, Lisarow High School was struggling to come to grips with their energy consumption. The SEPP pilot provided clear communication, enabling both staff and students to more easily understand the different components of their energy bill.

“I am more aware now of looking at all the separate break ups on the energy bill,” says Samantha Redhead, School Administration Manager. “Before I would just look at it as a total number. This program has really brought to life what we should be looking for.”

The tailored Energy Audit Report provided the school with information on possible energy efficiency process improvements and led to Lisarow High School receiving a LED lighting upgrade and solar installation.

As a school that has previously only enjoyed air conditioning in staff rooms, excitement for the upgrades has only increased with the awareness of possible savings re-allocations.

“We aren’t an air-conditioned school and we are learning more and more the impact that can have on learning,” says Ben Surwald, Teacher. “Knowing that we could potentially afford better learning spaces within this school is a really big bonus and that has been discussed with staff and students.”

Additionally, focused conversation with students around the Posterboard has worked to broaden awareness of energy saving behaviours. The program’s digital tools encouraged discussions around off-peak charging of on-premise technologies, such as computer banks, and served as a reminder to students and staff to be aware of lights and hot water systems that are left on.

Download the Lisarow High School Case Study

ERM Power helped Lisarow High School, staff and students, to come to grips with their energy consumption – leading to greater energy literacy within the community and the implementation of two energy efficiency projects.

Lisarow Case Study