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Focus on Energy

29th March 2019

Focus on Energy

Saving money and generating revenue through energy efficiency schemes is a current hot topic in the Education sector. LED lighting and Photo Voltaic Panels are being installed to schools across the country but being managed and funded in very different ways.

The case study below demonstrates how an innovative procurement strategy and funding model has produced a huge financial legacy for the trusts involved on top of the obvious environmental benefits.

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Case Study - MAT Loans Pilot Scheme

In 2016 the Education and Skills Funding Agency launched the MAT Loans Pilot Project. The aim was to analyse if interlinking MATs could enable collaborative working to achieve long term benefits for their estates. The Pilot Project saw Barker Associates and EO Consulting bring together Brooke Weston Academies Trust and Ormiston Academies Trust (founding members of The Trust Network) on a project to investigate the long term strategic difference this approach had on their estates.

With Brooke Weston and Ormiston Trusts spending over £2.7 million a year on energy and needing to spend over £1 million on lighting replacement over the next 5 years, an Energy Efficiency Programme was put into place for the Pilot which would:

  • reduce the trusts energy bills
  • address lighting condition challenge
  • complement current plans for the school condition allocation
  • reduce the impact the trusts estate had on environment in terms of CO2 emissions
  • deliver a procurement model and benchmark data which would allow the project to be replicated by other MATs

Detailed study of data for all of Brooke Weston and Ormiston academies indicated that replacing lighting with LED in 13 academies across both Trusts would reduce the academies electricity bill by 30% and installing 50kW photovoltaic arrays (PV Panels) on the roofs of each of the academies would see the academies use less electricity and generate their own.

More importantly it was demonstrated that investment would be zero cost to the academies over the 9-year term of the loan and with warranties in place for 10 years for the lighting and 25 years for the PV panels ensured the loans could be repaid and long-term legacy delivered.

Procurement was in line with EU Procurement legislations and Academies Financial Handbook. The proposal submitted to the ESFA was successful in the Trusts securing a funding of £2.8 million in 2017 to deliver the project.

The programme delivery saw over 15,000 lamps replaced with a substantial amount of the works undertaken during the holiday periods. Out of hours working had its problems, but it is a model that will be repeated ensuring in future time is budgeted for the site team to work extended hours.

The PV Panels which will have the capacity to generate over 700,000 kwh of electricity per annum for the next 25 years will save the trusts over £2million after the loan has been repaid.