It is hard to escape the fact that schools are under financial pressure. A recent study from the Institute for Fiscal Studies highlighted that by 2020, budgets for Education could facing up to a 20% reduction. Yet, alongside this, the Government is also promoting renewable targets and pushing for 20% of energy to come from ‘green’ sources by 2020.
Meeting the challenge of making the most of available resources, saving money and reducing carbon emissions, all whilst maintaining standards of education high is not an easy one.
So, what can schools do to take control of their energy usage and cut costs in the process? Well, the first step is to start with the quick wins. Whilst they may seem small, when aggregated, they can make a big difference:
- Switch off heating for the last hour of the day – most buildings should retain heat for this period.
- Use time switches – so heating is only on when the building’s in use.
- Temperature check classrooms – Children are actually more comfortable than adults at lower temperatures due to their higher metabolic rates. If you can turn the temperature of a room down by just 1 degree Celsius, you can save between 5-10% on your heating bill.
- Leave blinds open – making the most of natural light and reduce the need for electric lighting.
- Install low energy lighting – whilst the initial cost might be higher they provide longer term savings. Switching to LED can save up to 80% on lighting costs.
- Switch lights off – it’s a myth that it takes more energy to switch lights on and off than just to leave on. Switch lights off when the room isn’t in use.
- Keep doors to different areas closed – this can limit thermal loss to unused rooms and the hallways between classrooms.
- Turn off appliances at the wall when they are not in use. Appliances that are not in use are running in the background. And unplug during school holidays.
- Check that none of your taps around the school are dripping. Hot water uses a large amount of energy to heat.
- Finally, switch supplier.
This last point is crucial and where the market has been lacking considering the domestic market has been able to switch supplier for over a decade. To address this, Crown Commercial Service (CCS) have launched a new energy switching service – School Switch – in conjunction with their partners Gemserv and My Utility Genius, and supported by the Department of Education.
This, first of its kind, free service enables schools and academies to take control of their energy usage on one, easy to use online portal. Just like domestic comparison sites, it provides a flexible, simple way to compare quotes and buy your energy, without the need for specialist knowledge.
The service allows you to store site information, choose supplier and provide a fixed price at the time of order, essential for taking control of costs. There are also a number of additional benefits which include:
· Instant and bespoke pricing based on your requirements
· Full visibility of supplier prices
· Fixed pricing for a contract term decided by you
· A compliant process
To find out more and to start your switch today visit School Switch.