The Durham Federation

ECO2 Smart Schools Support

The Durham Federation is a secondary school for pupils aged 11 – 16. The federation is made up of two school sites, one in Ushaw Moor and one in Sacriston. The Ushaw Moor site is where the majority of pupils attend school. The Sacriston site is home to an inclusion centre, along with a working farm, hair salon and vocational centre. The Sacriston site is also home to external providers; this can make energy usage on this site more challenging.

An annual energy meeting is held every year with the business manager and the site managers. When the new caretaker first joined, he asked for support and guidance from the school’s OASES Energy Officer, who showed him how to navigate Energy Manager Live to find graphs to evidence the impact that installing renewable technologies had on the school’s energy costs and talked him through the complex Solar PV invoices. Now the caretaker has a folder of Energy Manager Live data, that he regularly updates, which he can easily present to management or governors to evidence the impact of energy saving changes the site team are making.

“Thank you so much for having patience with me and for making it so clear” – Keith White, Caretaker.

OASES is also in communication with the eco-lead in the school updating and supporting her with opportunities for involvement in energy saving and sustainability projects, such as the ECO2 Smart Schools Climate Conference and the Eco Schools green flag award. In 2019, a group of pupils visited County Hall to share their thoughts at the Durham County Council climate emergency consultation. These opportunities have contributed towards the school’s bespoke climate change curriculum, ensuring all pupils learn about climate change in a range of subjects and take action.



Electricity - Sacriston Site

In 2019 a decision was made for the majority of pupils to attend the Ushaw Moor site, with the Sacriston site catering for vocational qualifications and pupil inclusion. OASES delivered pupil sessions with the nurture group at the Sacriston site, focused on reducing electricity usage. As can be seen in the top-right graph, electricity usage often peaked between 25 and 30kwh, and overnight and weekend baseline usage was regularly between 10 and 15kwh with large fluctuations.

The nurture group carried out an energy audit and identified ways in which the baseline and overall electricity usage could be reduced, such as making the most of daylight to light the classrooms and making sure computers shut down automatically at the end of the day. They implemented the changes they identified, along with the site manager who applied the changes that were suggested in the school’s energy report.  The results of all their hard work can be seen in the bottom-right graph. The baseline usage is much more stable and is now between 5-10kwh as opposed to 10 – 15kwh. Their overall electricity usage has reduced by approximately. 1/5th, peaking between 20 and 25kwh as opposed to 25 – 30kwh.

See all ECO2 Smart Schools Case Studies

Our library of case studies keep on growing as more smart schools join and get involved with our projects.


We help you create practical and engaging learning experiences exploring energy, climate change and the environment throughout the curriculum.


Through our support and expertise we help schools to make significant savings through practical changes and implementation of the programme.


resources for the whole school community to learn more about the environment and how to make positive changes to safeguard it for the future for all.