In line with the mission of the United World Colleges, to unite people and cultures for peace and a sustainable future, Waterford has an extensive program to become carbon neutral by 2020.

The program was initiated in 2014 with the creation of the post of “eco-estate manager” which has as its brief to ensure that all developments and maintenance projects within the school are undertaken with a view to sustainability. The program got an impetus with a group of students won a grant of E 500 000 from the Zaid future energy competition, which annually supports schools with energy initiatives. This enabled the school to set up

• a demonstration wind turbine
• a biodigester to generate biogas to heat dishwashing water in the kitchen.
• a 20 kW solar array
• the power monitoring project

At present the school has pledged to reinvest all savings into further development of green technologies. Since the baseline year of 2014, the last year before the project started, this has amounted to about SZL 800 000.00. Most of the reinvestment is being channelled into a large solar array over the kitchen.

The sustainability initiative has many angles: energy conservation, recycling, and water conservation. The energy conservation project at Waterford has several angles:

1. Education and sensitisation.

2. Load optimisation, especially of geysers.

3. Increasing efficiencies of appliances, like cooking with less fat to reduce the amount of hot water needed for washing up.

4. Use of passive solar heating for water and new architecture.

5. Moving off grid, or at least becoming grid neutral by generating sustainable energy, mostly solar.

The energy monitoring project centres around a visible and striking energy hub building. It has a large amount of glass to cut down on the need for artificial light and is already a favourite space since it is warm almost as soon as the sun comes up.

In the hub there is a computer with a number of displays showing consumption of electricity in all parts of the school. This enables us to see how much power is being used, and more importantly, if it is being used inappropriately, like geysers being used during peak times, or appliances that are running in a building even when nobody is there.

Energy monitoring run by students as a community service project. The hardware and software are based on the Open Source openenergymonitor project []. This involves the use of Arduino robotics boards for sensing and raspberry pi mini computers to collate data. These are commonly used in schools and technical colleges as teaching aids. Thus the equipment is not only low cost, but also transparent and can give students with interest in this area the opportunity to develop expertise. The real time summary display on this web page is a product of this project.

Made By Tal and Absalom

Swazi Power.