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Instigating Simple Energy Efficient Behavioural Practices in Schools (FLICK THE SWITCH)

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The FLICK THE SWITCH Project was proposed in an attempt to reduce EU energy wastage due to millions of lights and electronic gadgets and devices being left on (or on standby) when not in use, leading to the unnecessary consumption of vast amounts of energy, which has a devastating effect on the environment due to preventable CO2 emissions which accelerate climate change. The objective was to influence the behaviour patterns of EU children and youth by motivating them to embrace the need for being responsible and sustainable in the use of energy. To achieve this, an EU-wide energy efficiency awareness and behaviour changing campaign for primary and secondary schools was designed and launched in October 2009 and ran until May 2010. During this time, 705 schools and some 310,000 students participated in the campaign which delivered significant benefits in terms of energy savings in the school, as well as in the home via a domino effect, with positive impacts for energy efficiency, security and cutting CO2 emissions.

Results

  • A dynamic, interactive and highly relevant Flick the Switch Campaign website has been designed, built and launched on the internet to stimulate the interest of European kids, teens, teachers, parents, education boards, government authorities, energy stakeholders, energy experts, media, etc. Since its launch the site has received over 22,200 visits
  • A total of 658 posters from 173 schools and 105 evaluation reports were received from schools all across Europe for consideration in the Flick the Switch poster competition and the Flick the Switch School Champions.
  • The far reaching impact of the Flick the Switch campaign message has benefited 6933 European schools, 308 education boards/authorities, 728 stakeholders and countless numbers of parents through the targeted dissemination drive of the project.
  • 705 schools and over 310,000 students have directly and indirectly taken part in the campaign.
  • The potential impacts of 310,000 students turning off unused lights and devices in the campaign schools has resulted in an average of €3.65 million in energy savings during the campaign, as well as a reduction of some 1280 tonnes of CO2.
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Lessons learned

  • Always be mindful of the steps that need to be taken to engage the support of your target group. In the case Flick the Switch, it was crucial to get the cooperation of teachers, without whose support, we could not hope to reach their students. In order to achieve this we had to promote the educational significance of our initiative, to show the teachers was in it for both themselves and their students
  • In order to cater for the wide and diverse European scope of the Flick the Switch campaign, it is vital to devise a good strategy for reaching EU 27, Croatia and Turkey and maintaining a connection with all countries throughout the initiative. Equally important is recognising the multilingual and multicultural factors in order to ensure the wide spread appeal of your initiative and avoid rendering website content irrelevant to target groups from different regions.
  • Provide a fast loading, user friendly and content rich website that is not weighed down with long, boring and irrelevant text otherwise kids and teen will quickly grow bored of the whole experience. Keep a close eye on the day to day mechanics and functionality of your website to ensure that everything is running smoothly. This consideration will work best if the website is built and managed by a consortium partner and not subcontracted.
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Partners and coordinator

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Contact

Iberian Productivity and Innovation Centre
Spain
Contact point: 
Name: 
Ms. Oonagh Mc Nerney
Tel: 
+34 652839215
Name: 
Oonagh Mc Nerney
Tel: 
0034 652839215

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Key documents

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In brief

Duration:
01/09/2008 to 31/08/2010
Contract number: 
IEE/07/639/SI2.499207

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