Energy Saving Dashboard

FAQs

Got a question? Find the answer below or, if you’re still stuck, email us at Contact_Us@jointhepod.org

Do I need to input my meter readings on the day I take them or can I do it in one go at the end?

It’s entirely up to you! The tool is flexible enough that you can either upload your meter readings each time you take them, or you can upload them all in one go at the end. When you upload your final reading, you’ll be able to find out whether you saved energy during Switch Off Fortnight and see a visualisation of your performance over the three weeks.

What happens if I accidentally put in the wrong reading(s)?

You can always change your readings if you find out you have accidentally entered the wrong one. Just click on ‘Change previous readings’ under any of your meter reading entries or ‘Edit Readings’ on your Results page.

Why do I need to register to use the Dashboard?

This is so we are able to record and aggregate overall energy savings in schools during Switch Off Fortnight, to celebrate everyone’s collaborative achievement. Although you access the Dashboard through the Pod it’s actually created on a separate website and so it requires a new account to be created for your school.

Why don’t my Pod login details work on the Dashboard?

You need to register separately to use the Pod Energy-Saving Dashboard. Your existing Pod login won’t work. See the Q ‘Why do I need to register to use the Dashboard?’

Help – I’ve forgotten my username / password!

Don’t worry – your username is your email address. And if you’ve forgotten your password, you can use the ‘forgotten password’ link to create a new one.

Can I have more than one login to the Dashboard for my school?

Yes – but only if you are capturing readings from different meters around the school or have two classes capturing readings, for example. What you can’t do is have more than one login associated with the same meter.

My local authority isn’t listed to register with the Dashboard

We’ve included 343 local authorities. Start typing and your local authority should appear in a dropdown menu beneath. But if you can’t find your local authority, please pick the nearest to your location.

How secure is my data?

We only collect enough information for us to be able to understand energy usage across all the schools that take part and to make the tool work for you. All data will be managed in alignment with our Privacy Policy and is stored securely behind a firewall on a professionally provided web server.

It will only be used by Wastebuster and the Pod for the purposes of measuring the amount of energy saved during campaign periods.

Why do we need to take meter readings?

Meter readings provide the most accurate way of measuring your school’s energy use. We want both gas and electricity meter readings as this reflects how most schools use energy (typically, gas for central heating and hot water; and electricity for lights and appliances).

Why do we need to take FOUR meter readings?

Ideally we’d like you to take four weekly meter readings on the following dates for Switch Off Fortnight: 7th, 14th, 21st and 28th November 2022. This is so that you can establish a baseline for your school’s energy use (between 7th – 14th November 2022) and then compare it against your energy use after the start of your Switch Off Fortnight campaign (from meter readings taken on 14th and 21st November) and the second week of your Switch Off Fortnight campaign (from meter readings taken on 21st and 28th November).

Don’t panic if this isn’t possible! The objective is to understand the role of high quality data in measuring and learning about your use of energy.

If you can’t capture the readings on the four Mondays, you can capture four readings on another day of the week instead. Just make sure you’re consistent in taking readings on the same day of the week each time to be the most accurate.
If you can’t capture the readings in November, you can do them over another four-week period instead (again, on the same day each week).

Do I need to take four meter readings?

Yes – we need four meter readings to display the energy and carbon savings when you input your last set of meter readings.

Do we have to take the meter readings at the same time and on the same day?

Ideally yes, particularly on the same day as you’re only capturing readings on a weekly basis. Try to stick to a similar time too, but don’t worry if you aren’t spot on each week. Don’t panic if either aren’t possible. The objective is to start collecting high quality data so you are measuring your school’s energy use as accurately as possible. So do what you can!

Where are my meters located?

Speak to the facilities manager, office staff, head teacher or school business manager / bursar to find out who’s responsible for managing the meters and where they’re based at school. They’ll also be able to let you know how accessible they are and whether students can locate them, or they can only be accessed by a member of staff.

What if I have more than one gas and electricity meter?

Don’t worry! To keep things simple, we suggest each teacher be responsible for only one set of meter readings (i.e. one electricity meter and one gas meter). If you have more than one set of meters around school, you can just pick the electricity and gas meters for one building or ask another teacher to be responsible for another set.

What if I have more than one site or campus?

Keep it simple by only focusing on one site, or one campus, or even one building for yourself! Don’t make it over complicated by capturing readings from multiple meters. You can ask another teacher to at your school to register so that they can take responsibility for a different set of meters if you want as you can only input readings from one set of meters into the Pod Energy Saving Dashboard.

What if I only have one meter?

We only want you to capture the meter readings from one gas meter and one electricity meter. If you only have one meter (e.g. you don’t have any gas) – just take this reading and put zeros in as your entry for the gas meter readings.

What dates do I need to do meter readings?

Ideally we’d like you to take four weekly meter readings on the following dates for Switch Off Fortnight: 7th, 14th, 21st and 28th November 2022. This is so that you can establish a baseline for your school’s energy use (between 7th – 14th November 2022) and then compare it against your energy use after the start of your Switch Off Fortnight campaign (from meter readings taken on 14th and 21st November) and the second week of your Switch Off Fortnight campaign (from meter readings taken on 21st and 28th November).

What if I can’t take a meter reading on any of the dates – or forget?

Don’t panic! See the answer to the Q ‘Why do we need to take FOUR meter readings?’

How do I calculate the energy used?

You don’t need to! Simply put your four meter readings into the Pod Energy Saving Dashboard and we’ll calculate your energy used over the three weeks for you.

How do I calculate my carbon savings from energy?

You don’t need to! When you input the last of your four meter readings into the Pod Energy Saving Dashboard, we’ll not only calculate your energy used over the three weeks for you, but also the carbon savings related to this.

How do I know what type of gas meter I have?

Check the meter – it’ll be marked whether it provides readings in cubic meters (m3) or cubic feet (ft3). On the Pod Energy Saving Dashboard you can choose your gas meter type from the dropdown menu.

What if the data shows that we’ve used more energy during Switch Off Fortnight rather than less?

Don’t worry! First, bear in mind that there could have been unusual factors at play – for instance, if there was any reason the school had to stay open late on an evening, this will have meant more energy use. There might have been a cold weather snap, and so on.

The good news is you’ve now started to measure your school’s energy use. Knowing how much energy you use is the starting point for understanding what influences your energy use – and acting on this to prevent any unnecessary wasting of energy (e.g. lights left on in empty classrooms). We want to encourage everyone to be more conscious about their use of energy because this will mean fewer greenhouse gas emissions, which is good for the planet.

How long will our results be stored?

Your results will be stored until Monday 1 November, 2023. You can login at any point until then to retrieve them.

Can we revisit the Dashboard and carry on tracking our energy use over different periods of time?

You can continue tracking your energy use over three-week periods by resubmitting your week one results. This will kickstart a new period of tracking, which will clear your previous results. So remember to download these if you want to have a record of your energy data each time.

Can I download a copy of my results?

Once you have entered your four readings, you can download your results as a PDF by clicking the print results button on the results screen, then choose the PDF option.

There is more information about how to do this on a Windows computer here – www.businessinsider.com/how-to-save-a-webpage-as-a-pdf-on-windows.

For Apple Macs there is some further information here – www.lifewire.com/save-web-page-as-pdf-in-safari.

The Pod