Every day, Ukrainian schools spend dozens of kilowatt-hours of electricity. Lighting the classrooms and school premises; operating the computers, office and audiovisual equipment, and running the kitchen equipment – all this makes up the lion's share in the total energy balance of the educational establishments, and creates a huge burden on municipal budgets. As a result, school principals and the heads of the municipal departments of education must constantly seek new opportunities to conserve energy.


One of possible solutions to this problem is to educate the students to be energy consumption conscious, including electricity consumption in particular. The USAID Municipal Energy Reform Project in Ukraine (USAID Project) helps its partner cities in this. For example, a competition on the reduction of electricity consumption was organized in 2016 for the secondary schools from 16 partner cities. 78 schools took part in this competition. It was supported by the Ministry of Regional Development, Construction and Housing and Communal Services and by the State Agency for Energy Efficiency and Energy Saving.


For two months (from February 29 to April 28, 2016), the students and teachers united their efforts to implement technical, organizational and informational measures in order to reduce electricity consumption and to form energy-saving habits. Most schools started by replacing all of the the incandescent bulbs with energy saving LED bulbs. They did this knowing that savings in lighting are higher, even despite the relatively high cost of LED bulbs. Other schools installed motion sensors for automatic light control and replaced the outdated electrical equipment (boilers, electric stoves) with modern A and A+ energy efficiency class equipment.

Among the organizational measures, there were thematic classes devoted to energy saving, parent meetings, energy patrols, and the continuous monitoring of energy use. Signs saying, "Turn off lights and electrical appliances" were posted in every classroom, to remind students to have a responsible attitude toward energy saving measures.


Within three months, the contestants were able to save over 41,000 kWh of electricity, which equals UAH 78,901 in cash equivalent. The greatest success in electricity saving was achieved by the schools from Kamianets-Podilskyi (33.5%) and Khmelnytskyi (20.5%). The other schools reduced their expenses for electricity by 17.8% on average.

Under the terms of the competition, the winning schools received certificates for an energy audit of their school building during the 2017 heating season. After inspections of the school heating, water supply and sewage systems, as well as power supply of the school objects, the USAID Project found that most schools still use incandescent bulbs and their heating systems are extremely outdated and ineffective. A lot of energy is lost through non-insulated walls and windows. All this leads to excessive energy consumption and the increase of communal bills. The Project then developed for each school three sets of the most effective energy efficiency measures, calculated the amount of required investments for their implementation, and the potential payback period. If all schools implement the proposed optimal package of measures, they will be able to save annually together up to 7.8 million kWh, or UAH 8.4 million.