Energy Town


Notes on On the trail of the energy wasters

  • To understand the term ‘wasting energy’
  • To know some of the disadvantages of wasting energy
  • To know that insulating a home or a building can reduce fuel consumption and lower heating costs
  • To understand the advantages of using public or shared transport in terms of saving energy
  • To be aware of the basic rules for electrical safety in the home

Key words: energy, electricity, insulation, recycle, environment, socket, carbon dioxide, electric shock

Estimated timing: 45 mins


Most pupils will: identify examples of energy wasting in the home, at school, in the shop and outside; be able to give examples of how to avoid the most common ways of wasting energy; understand how insulating a home can reduce the amount of energy needed to heat it; know that using public transport uses less energy on average per person than travelling by car; know that wasting energy can damage the environment; know the basic rules for electrical safety in the home.

Pupils working at a lower level will: know that energy can be wasted at home, eg by leaving lights on; know some ways of avoiding energy wasting; understand that heat can escape from homes; know that forms of transport, such as cars, need energy to work and that they are also bad for the environment; know some rules for electrical safety in the home.

Pupils working at a higher level will also: identify examples of energy wasting, understanding the solutions and knowing the type of energy being wasted; explain how energy wasting can be avoided in various situations; know the relative amounts of energy used by different forms of transport and how these affect the environment; explain how energy wasting can potentially damage the environment; understand basic rules for electrical safety in the home and why we have them.

Notes: A chance for pupils (aged 7–11) to play detective in this four-part challenge, spotting examples of energy wasting in houses, schools, shops and the street, which they can use as evidence against the energy wasters.

The class can be introduced to the game through Part 1: Home, on an interactive whiteboard if available. Once pupils have seen how the game works, most of them will be able to complete Parts 2–4 independently with perhaps some help on the decision-making activities*. Part 5: The electrical safety test can be used as an assessment activity.

Pupils may already be aware of climate change but the concept will need to be clearly explained to them so they understand that burning fuel for energy produces carbon dioxide, a gas that makes it harder for the heat from the Sun to escape into space. This means the Earth’s atmosphere is getting warmer which could cause problems such as making some countries hotter and drier. This could seriously affect people, plants and animals so it is very important that energy is saved where possible. A diagram can be used to help explain the concept and Information card 12: Energy and the environment will also be useful.

* The figures provided for the cost of how insulation affects Mrs Jones’ fuel bills are approximations to help pupils see the link between better insulation and lower fuel cost.

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