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How an Energy Audit Can Benefit Your Estate

Energy efficiency has become increasingly important in the education sector, particularly in the current economic climate. With the rising cost of energy, schools must look for ways to reduce their energy consumption and save money. Energy efficiency also helps to reduce the impact organisations have on the environment, which can in turn improve their reputations as it shows commitment to sustainability. By investing in energy-efficient measures, schools can reap a number of benefits.

Many schools are struggling to figure out how to become more energy efficient. With limited knowledge, organisations are often worried that they will make the wrong decisions and end up spending money on ineffective solutions. They are also concerned about how to measure the success of their efforts, as well as how sustainable changes will last over time. It’s key for schools to have access to reliable information and guidance to help them make the best decisions for their energy efficiency initiatives.

It’s advisable for all schools to have an energy audit and work with an energy efficiency consultant to ensure they’re making the best decisions moving forward. Below we have explored energy audits, their benefits and how they can be used to help improve the energy efficiency of estates in the education sector. 

What Does an Energy Audit Entail?

Often referred to as energy efficiency surveys, energy audits are designed to analyse the energy usage of an estate to determine ways to reduce energy consumption and energy costs. An energy audit typically includes an inspection of each site to collect energy usage data and assess things such as; inefficient energy habits, when energy consumption is at its highest and which systems are contributing to inefficiency. This enables opportunities for energy improvements to be identified and tailored recommendations to be made. 

At Barker, we offer comprehensive energy audits to schools, colleges and universities. Our team of energy efficiency consultants can provide you with a better understanding of your energy consumption and suggest ways to improve energy efficiency. 

The Key Benefits of an Energy Audit 

Knowledge is a powerful tool when it comes to energy efficiency. The insight an energy audit provides can help you to make informed decisions about which changes to make to save energy and money. Some of the key benefits of an energy audit for organisations in the education sector include the following; 

  • Cost Savings – One of the main reasons why all schools should have an energy audit is to ensure they’re investing in the most cost-effective energy improvements. The information provided in an energy audit can help to ensure you’re making changes that reduce the school’s energy bills and overall operating costs. 
  • Return on Investment – Although there are up-front costs associated with conducting energy audits, the return on investment for any energy-saving measures implemented can be impressive. Making the right changes can not only help to reduce costs, but potentially make the school money in the long run. 
  • Improved Sustainability – Effective energy-saving improvements can help the school to become more sustainable and reduce its environmental impact. As touched on above, this can have a positive impact on your reputation as you are taking responsibility and being proactive about improving your carbon footprint. 
  • Educational Opportunities – There are some educational opportunities associated with energy-saving measures. For example, implementing a solar panel system could be used as an educational tool to teach students about renewable energy and sustainability. This can be beneficial for all educational institutions.

Using an Energy Audit to Create an Energy Strategy

By providing an overview of an organisation’s energy usage, an energy audit can be used to create an effective energy strategy. When you understand how energy is currently being used, it’s much easier to develop an effective plan to reduce energy waste and improve energy efficiency. The detailed insights gained from an energy audit are incredibly useful when creating an energy strategy that encompasses both short-term and long-term goals. This strategy can include a range of measures and it will be tailored to the specific needs of the estate. 

How an energy audit can benefit your estate

There are three main areas where schools can implement change to reduce carbon emissions and save money;

  • Reduce the amount of energy consumed.
  • Buy energy in an efficient and sustainable manner.
  • Generate your own renewable energy.

Each of these methods can be effective and depending on the results of your energy audit, some may be more economical than others. At Barker, we can help you to make the best decisions for your organisation, craft a bespoke energy transformation strategy and assist with the implementation of any changes. Barker Energy 360 is our process to help you reap the benefits of improved energy efficiency and get you on the road to net zero. 

Our energy efficiency consultants provide impartial advice, they will have your specific goals and best interests in mind when designing an energy strategy. We understand that you can’t always implement all required changes at once, so we can also test the feasibility of different measures to help you to prioritise projects. Unlike other companies that offer efficient energy consulting services, we are education estate experts and we understand the unique requirements and challenges of this sector. Not to mention, we will manage the entire process, from start to finish, so you can focus on other aspects of your organisation. 

Is Funding Available to Help With Energy Efficiency?

There is no denying that improving energy efficiency can be expensive. Even though it should be considered an investment as the long-term savings and benefits can be considerable, the up-front cost can be significant. For many schools, the costs associated with energy-efficient upgrades can prohibit them from being able to make them. 

The Government invested £500m into energy efficiency upgrades for schools and colleges last December, helping to save on bills, and they will be investing more funding for mainstream schools this year and the year after. Fortunately, there are a range of funding opportunities available for schools too and these can take some of the financial strain off energy efficiency projects. From the Public Sector Decarbonisation Fund (PSDS) to the Low Carbon Skills Fund (LCSF), the funding landscape is ever-evolving, enabling more organisations in the education sector to afford energy efficiency improvements. 

Many of the funding avenues have to be bid for and it’s beneficial to enlist some help to ensure you get the right funding for your project. At Barker, not only are we funding experts, but we have a team of bid writers who can assist you when applying for grant funding. We can help you to compare the different funding options and determine which is most appropriate for your project. We can also assist you with the application process and we know how to write winning bids that make you stand out. We have unparalleled success obtaining funding across various schemes and grants for both private and public sector organisations. 

Book an Energy Audit with Barker Associates

Should you have any questions about energy audits, don’t hesitate to contact the Barker team. We will happily provide you with more information about planning, funding and implementing transformational energy efficiency strategies. We are a trusted advisor to schools, colleges and universities throughout the UK, and we can provide you with the specialist advice you need when trying to improve the energy efficiency of your estate. 

To arrange for an energy audit to be conducted at your estate, get in touch with us by completing the form on our website. We will get back to you as soon as possible to discuss your energy needs in more detail.  

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