First Look Blog

Articles written by the First Look team.


An Introduction to First Look

Published by Ken Nunes on 23/06/2015


For schools to be able to understand how their electricity and water consumption compare with schools of similar characteristics, Suntricity has created the online application First Look!

The application analyses schools utility invoices (Electricity and Water) tracking costs and consumption over a minimum period of three years. Key Performance Indicators then illustrates the consumption (in kWh, KL and Rand) clearly indicating historical consumption and costs.

First Look is accessible online by authorised representatives and SGB Members of schools.

WHY IS FIRST LOOK IMPORTANT

Very limited information is available on the consumption and cost of water and electricity in schools. The implication is that statistics relating to average costs and consumption is at best patchy, with average consumption per pupil per day basically not known. Historical consumption data are simply not being tracked, consumption “benchmarks” does not exist and information is certainly not being shared at any level in the Education Sector.

This is precisely the positioning...First Look provides these benchmark!!!

Schools’ Administrators and SGB’s are empowered through easily accessible information of all the school’s electricity and water consumption, via the online platform, therefore enabling informed decisions to effect electricity and water efficiency and significant cost saving.

INFORMATION PROVIDED BY FIRST LOOK:

With the introduction of details of the schools electricity and water Invoices, for a minimum period of 3-year to the First Look Platform, provides an immediate graphical visualisation of:

1.  A month-by-month consumption and costs illustration over the reference period.

2.  An annual year-on-year comparison of electricity (kWh) and water (KL) consumption.

3.  An illustration of the various costs, which forms part of the invoices, including (for electricity) Energy Charge, Network Costs, Service Charges, VAT, etc and (for water) Water charges, Sewage Costs, VAT, etc.

4.  A cost per pupil analysis of electricity and water in kWh and Litres per day.

As a larger number of invoices are added to the Platform, First Look will compare schools with similar characteristics and numbers of learners, and create a “league table” of the most efficient schools to create the “efficiency benchmarks”.

For the first time, schools Administrators and SBG’s will be given an indication of the level of costs their school should be charged for electricity and water. The extreme lack of data, common policy and a seemingly unclear vision and overall strategy for electricity and water consumption in schools in South Africa, is all too evident to those involved in the Administration of schools.

Escalating costs, together with aging infrastructure are but two crucial aspects to a continually growing problem. The only assistance presently offered to the schools to deal with the issue, is generally in the form of “bailouts” by the Department of Education, which merely continues the proliferation of waste, without questioning the “root cause” of the problem.

This situation clearly must not be allowed to continue. First Look addresses these issues head on, in search of long-term solutions for eliminating waste and maximising energy efficiency, and as importantly, save money!

We encourage all schools to sign up to First Look and begin the process.