Energy at home and school

Energy efficiency means using energy wisely without wasting it. By taking up energy–efficient practices both at home and at school, you can help reduce pollution and help protect our planet.

Adapting environmentally friendly, energy-efficient practices into your lifestyle on a permanent basis and setting an example for your students leads to a more sustainable future, a goal that has been clearly defined also in the EU 2020 strategy. Your students are the best possible ambassadors, so take advantage of every opportunity to show that small actions matter!

Schools accommodate lots of people and use large amounts of electricity and water on a daily basis. You can start with turning the heating down by one degree; switching off the lights in the classroom when everyone has left for break; finding out if your school uses water-reducing devices on toilets and faucets gratis porno, and if not, trying to influence fellow teachers and other staff to support the initiative. Involving your students in these initiatives gives them a great opportunity for further reflection and discussion, even at home. Your students can become the energy champions of their household!

Outside school, the most important first step is to convince the whole family towards a more environmentally friendly lifestyle. You can start by taking small steps first and move on to bigger challenges once you have adopted the first energy-saving measures. Switch off the lights and reduce heating in rooms you are not currently using; learn environmentally friendly ways to manage your household waste; keep your showers short and fix leaky faucets; spread the word to friends and relatives hentai, encourage your students to do the same and write down your commitments on the U4energy pledge.

Energy is everywhere. Take small steps first, adopt a different lifestyle and contribute towards a more sustainable future. Set an example for your students, influence and inspire. The U4energy theme cards are an easy way to approach this subject. They are available on the U4energy website.

Start today!

How to build a solar oven


A low cardboard box, Box knife or scissors, Aluminium foil, Clear tape, Plastic wrap (a heavy-duty or freezer zip lock bag will also work), Black construction paper, Newspapers, and a Ruler or wooden spoon

  1. Use a box knife or sharp scissors to cut a flap in the lid of the box. Cut along three sides, leaving about an inch between the sides of the flap and the edges of the lid. Fold this flap out so that it stands up when the box lid is closed.
  2. Cover the inner side of the flap with aluminium foil so that it will reflect rays from the sun. To do this, tightly wrap foil around the flap, and then tape it to the back, or outer side of the flap.
  3. Use clear plastic wrap to create an airtight window for sunlight to enter into the box. Do this by opening the box and taping a double layer of plastic wrap over the opening you made when you cut the flap in the lid. Leave about an inch of plastic overlap around the sides and tape each side down securely, sealing out air. If you use a plastic bag, cut out a square big enough to cover the opening, and tape one layer over the opening.
  4. Line the bottom of the box with black construction paper – black absorbs heat. The black surface is where your food will be set to cook.
  5. To insulate your oven so it holds in more heat, roll up sheets of newspaper and place them on the bottom of the box. Tape them down so that they form a border around the cooking area. The newspaper rolls should make it so that the lid can still close, but there is a seal inside of the box, so air cannot escape.
  6. The best hours to set up your solar oven are when the sun is high overhead. Take it outside to a sunny spot and adjust the flap until the most sunlight possible is reflecting off the aluminium foil and onto the plastic-covered window. Use a ruler to prop the flap at the right angle. You may want to angle the entire box by using a rolled up towel.
  7. You can make toast by buttering a slice of bread, or sprinkling cheese on it, then letting the sun do the rest. Cooking a hot dog or making nachos with chips and cheese are also fun treats to make in your solar oven! It would also work great to heat up leftovers. So the paper at the bottom doesn’t get dirty, put what you would like to cook on a clear plastic or glass plate. A pie plate would work well.
  8. To take food out of the oven, open up the lid of the box, and using oven mitts or potholders, lift the glass dish out of the oven.

U4energy closes its second competition cycle!

The second edition of the U4energy pan-European competition has come to an end. Schools from across Europe and beyond have submitted their projects, aspiring to the titles of national and/or European winners!


A great big ‘Thank you’ goes out to all participants who took part in the competition! By sustaining action and dialogue around the very topical theme of energy efficiency, participants have moved their school towards a more sustainable environment. For this reason, all participants are winners – congratulations!

Over the summer, dedicated networks of national contact points are coordinating national juries to select national winners for each of the three U4energy competition categories. Results will be announced by the end of summer 2012.

Out of the national winners, a grand European jury will select six European finalists. Winners will be invited to Brussels for the European Award ceremony. The European Commissioner for Energy, Mr. Günther Oettinger, will be invited to hand out the prizes to the European winners. During their trip to Brussels, finalists will enjoy a tailor-made educational and cultural programme.

Are you looking for an icebreaker? There are plenty of great and innovative ideas to introduce energy efficiency in the classroom. Simply browse the U4energy website for inspiration. See what schools across Europe and beyond have been doing by looking at the Gallery of entries, or visit the Resources section.

If you have any questions or require further assistance, please feel free to contact the U4energy team or talk to your national contact point in your native language.

The U4energy team wishes you all a great summer and is looking forward to hearing from you in September!

Now it’s your turn…

After two exciting years, the U4energy competition has now come to an end. A big thank you to all participating schools and their teachers and students for making it a great success!


U4energy was launched by the European Commission in 2010, in the framework of the EU Intelligent Energy Europe programme, and with the aim to encourage students, teachers and heads of schools to take action and demonstrate the best energy efficiency measures, lesson plans and school campaigns.

U4energy has sparked much enthusiasm with over 600 schools from 30 European countries submitting over 1,000 success stories. Over this two-year period, participating schools could reduce their energy consumption levels by up to 20 % and in doing so, changed every-day habits. Be inspired by those good practices and help spread them across Europe so other schools follow the lead!


editor: U4energy team

U4energy National Award Ceremony in Austria

On Monday 18 June, Austria’s National Award Ceremony of the U4energy winners took place at the European Centre for Renewable Energy in Güssing (EEE Güssing).

The Ceremony was organised by BM:UKK‘s Department for IT- Systems in Education, Austria’s National Contact Point for the U4energy initiative. As such, BM:UKK was responsible for the promotion and coordination of the U4energy school competition in Austria which led to the submission of 15 school projects. The date of the Ceremony was chosen to coincide with the European Sustainable Energy Week.

All 15 participating schools were invited to present their project as part of the Ceremony. Presentation topics ranged from possibilities of saving energy in IT, in traffic and in the household to the prospects of sustainable energy supply with wind and bio-energy as well as hydraulic and solar energy sources.

Throughout their presentations, participants were given direct feedback from experts from TU- Graz, Energypark Bruck/Leitha, the Burgenland Energy Agency, BEWG, Öko-Cluster and by the host, EEE Güssing. They were also invited to take part in different workshops, where they could discuss their projects, deepen their understanding of energy efficiency and explore how to disseminate their project results. Pupils enthusiastically took part in workshops where they worked on the creation of QR-Codes on mobile applications and played with audio-visual editing and cutting.

Winners were announced by national jury member Manfred Szerencits (Öko-Cluster) and the Mayor of Güssing Peter Vadasz.

 Category A: Best energy efficiency measures

Class 6a & teacher Helmut Braun from BORG Güssing

 Category B: Best teaching actions on efficient energy use

Energy efficient methods of heating water with practical experiment
Peter Stöckelmaier from Informatikhauptschule Stockerau

 Category C: Best school campaign on energy efficiency

ETs- Energy Tutors
Class 4ab & teacher Agnes Wiesinger from Hauptschule Munderfing

 Category “Best practice from national competitions“

Photovoltaic goes to school
National initiative from the Association of Energy-saving of Upper Austria

The winners of categories A, B and C have been invited to represent Austria at the European Award Ceremony in Brussels in November 2012.


editor: U4energy team

U4energy’s European Grand Jury meeting

U4energy’s European Grand Jury meeting took place on 3 September 2012 in Brussels.

The Grand Jury, composed of experienced European-level experts in the field of energy and education, was chaired by Silvia-Adriana Ticau MEP, as in the first-year edition.

Other Grand Jury members were:

  • Jason Anderson, Head of Climate and Energy Policy, WWF European Policy Office
  • Àgueda Gras-Velázquez, Science Programme Manager, European Schoolnet
  • Erica Hope, Senior Policy Officer, CAN Europe
  • Pirjo-Liisa Koskimäki, Head of Unit, Energy Efficiency, European Commission, DG Energy
  • Pirita Lindholm, Head of Brussels Office, Climate Alliance
  • Reiner Mathar, President of Executive Committee, ENSI Environment and school initiatives

Following up on a pre-selection made by a European pre-jury, the Grand Jury members evaluated four finalists in competition categories A, B and C and the Special Award Category (now renamed into category D).

The Grand Jury was impressed by the innovative approach, eagerness and genuine enthusiasm they could sense from each national winner entry.  The entries in each category were praised for the fact that apart from generating concrete energy-saving measures, they often also contributed to raising awareness of the importance of energy efficiency beyond the school community.

U4energy European Winners and Runners-up for the 2011-12 edition will be unveiled at the European Award Ceremony which will take place on 26 November in Brussels.