In an effort to understand the average consumption and cost of Electricity and Water in schools, Suntricity selected a total of 30 schools that form part of the FIRSTLOOK™ Platform, analysing various aspects of data contained in Municipality Invoices, for the years 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016.

To establish credible data, the following is important to note:

  • 27 of the schools are Primary Schools and 3 Secondary/High Schools.
  • 3 Schools are NO FEE PAYING Schools and 27 Schools FEE Paying.
  • All the schools are Public State Schools.
  • A total of 986 Electricity Invoices and 1032 Water Invoices are included in the study.
  • Over the last 36-month, 23.9% of the Electricity Invoices were ESTIMATED READINGS, while 76.06% ACTUAL READINGS.
  • Over the same period, 28.78% of the Water Invoices were ESTIMATED READINGS, while 71.22% ACTUAL READINGS.
  • There are 29 395 Learners attending the 30-schools included in the study.

The following results are noted:

ELECTRICITY 2013 2014 2015 2016
Average Annual Consumption per School – kWh 126 622 120 928 124 338 120 407
Average Annual Cost per School – Rand R232 700 R236 750 R306 040 R292 629
Average Annual Cost Per kWh R1.84 R1.96 R2.46 R2.43
WATER  2013 2014 2015  2016 
Average Annual Consumption per School – KL 10 914 12 570 12 660 11 425
Average Annual Cost per School – Rand R282 974 R326 244 R532 296 R380 352
Average Annual Cost Per KL R25.93 R25.95 R42.04 R33.29


We have made no alterations nor allowance in schools where there is clearly a Municipal issue to be resolved. 5 of the schools in the study have incorrect tariff issues to be resolved, while 5 have Municipal Billing issues needing to be resolved. These issues have a slight (downward) effect on the Average Annual values for both Electricity & Water in 2015.


  • With the Electricity and Water Allowance Fee Paying schools receive from the Department of Education of around R100 000 (2016), and the average cost of Electricity and Water (as detailed above for 2016), totalling R675 981, significant attention is needed by schools to reduce these costs.
  • The average cost per kWh in 2016 of R2.43, is considerably more than the average cost of Solar PV Electricity of around R1.00.
  • From Real-Time monitoring being carried out at 10 of the schools included in the study, around 30% of water consumption occurs OUTSIDE OF SCHOOL HOURS.
  • Significant savings are possible where Real-Time Monitoring is carried out – savings can be more than R500 000 over a 2-year period.

Read the original article here.
Find out how Suntricity can reduce your school’s water and electricity costs here.