Ista catches on: Consumption transparency promotes energy awareness

As the main sponsor of “European Green City – Essen 2017”, the Essen-based energy service provider ista brought transparency to the energy consumption of five schools in Essen. Using advanced measuring technology and visualisation, energy usage in the classrooms has since been demonstrated and presented in individually designed lessons to raise awareness for energy-saving behaviour. The nationwide continuation of the project in cooperation with the non-profit organisation BildungsCent is already being planned.

Five secondary schools in Essen were equipped with state-of-the-art technology to measure energy consumption for the educational project during the 2017/18 school year. The results of the measuring points in the individual classrooms will be evaluated and displayed, among other things, as consumption curves on large-format screens. This will make the results available at all times and will give the students an idea of how much energy they consume. Then in a later step, school groups will use the consumption data to develop measures to save energy.

Engine for progress:

  • Active climate protection education
  • Saving energy through behavioural change
  • Financial benefits for schools
  • Further circulation planned

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Photo: Mike Henning

How does our school's heating system actually work? To answer this and other questions, an ista technology expert accompanied the students in the project course to the boiler room.

Energy saving in the curriculum

To integrate the subject into the curriculum, the teachers at the participating schools have developed individual class concepts with the support of the energy service provider and the climate protection manager from the City of Essen. Interactive classroom discussions, “energy detective” workshops and many other activities will be used to increase students’ awareness and inspire them to be more energy conscious. The students will develop measures and learn how to reduce their energy consumption in the next heating periods using the newly installed measuring technology. In addition to the technical knowledge about the use of energy, the students also acquire acting and problem-solving expertise that they can pass on to other students and to their families.

Climate protection on the school exit exam certificate

A project course was founded at the Gymnasium Essen-Überruhr (GEÜ) secondary school for the upperclassmen titled “GEÜ goes green”. The special feature of this course is that it can be integrated into the overall evaluation of the school exit exam marks. During the course, the students take a critical look at the subject of energy efficiency. Not only will they discuss topics such as energy and climate, but also technical and economic aspects of efficiency measures. The school in Essen thus consistently uses the available options to integrate the subject into the classroom and to take a nationwide leading role.

The schools aim to continue the developed teaching concepts even after the pilot phase has finished in order to integrate the subject into the curriculum. After the project has been completed, ista will give the hardware used for the measuring points and visualisation to the schools for further use.

Photo: private

“Saving energy is important and fun. That is exactly what we want to convey to the students with our project ‘ista macht Schule’ (ista catches on). Because one thing is clear: energy efficiency must be learnt and there is no better place for this than at school.”

Katharina Kemler, Project Manager for ‘ista macht Schule’, ista International GmbH

Partners and sponsors

  • Klimaagentur Essen