In today's climate it is imperative for everyone to cut back on their energy consumption, and schools are no exception. However, schools also have the added pressure of trying to implement emission cutting updates to their buildings while battling funding cuts.
The government has allocated an extra £4.3 billion to the schools budget in England for 2022. If delivered, this will put school spending back to about the same level as it was in 2009. No real-terms growth in spending per pupil over 13 years represents a large squeeze by historical standards.
This has created a challenging landscape for schools to address their carbon emissions in. Despite this, there is still hope for schools to positively impact their carbon emissions while saving money.
Baker Associates and EO Consulting has created a calculator for schools and MATs to find out how much carbon emissions and money they could save from installing PV panels and switching to LED lighting.
Installing PV panels allows schools to generate their own clean electricity and rely less on the grid, resulting in significantly reduced energy bills. They are an effective way to reduce a school’s carbon footprint and protect them from the vagaries of the electricity market.
Similarly, LED lighting also reduces carbon emissions and enables cost savings. These savings can be reinvested in other education and social outcomes as well as deliver positive impact on climate change.
Schools can use this calculator to get data specific to their buildings in order to prioritise the projects that will have the biggest impact on carbon emissions and energy spending. Schools can then begin to prepare bid applications for the various education funding available from the government to fund the projects.
The calculator currently displays data for 24,000+ schools across the UK. You can use it to find out how much money and CO2 your school can save.
Find your school under "Establishment Name" for specific data. Continue reading to find out how to use other elements of the calculator.
Using the calculator is simple. You can search for individual schools or cluster groups such as regions or Multi Academy Trusts.
To search for a single school, go to the “Establishment” section and skip straight to selecting them in the “Establishment Name” drop down menu. To search for a MAT or local authority, find them in the “Trust/Local Authority” drop down or use the “Region” or “Diocese” drops downs to find those groups.
The details in the “Electricity Details” section are set to typical values and can be kept the same unless you know:
The “PV Panel Size” section is also set to typical values. PV Array Primary/Secondary/Other refers to the amount of panels for primary schools, secondary schools, and other schools. If you are selecting a specific MAT or school, the results shown are specific to that school type.
Cost per kWp refers to the cost equates to 3 or 4 single PV panels.
The potential savings schools can make by implementing these changes are significant, however they require an initial investment to make them possible. With the current financial crisis the education system is facing, schools need all the help they can get to make these savings a reality. This help can come through various forms of education funding.
Schools can apply for specific energy efficiency funding that allows them to implement energy efficiency projects with no capital outlay. This type of funding is ideal for schools who may otherwise struggle to fund energy efficiency improvement works.
Using this approach, Barker Associates have already helped some of their existing clients meet their 2030 carbon reduction targets and are now working towards the 2050 targets.
There are many other ways schools can secure funding for their buildings and estates.
The most recognised scheme is the Condition Improvement Fund (CIF). In this scheme provided by the DfE, every year schools can write and submit bids to receive funding for needed improvement works.
Schools can write and submit their own bids to these funding schemes, or they can enlist the help of a representative to help them put together and submit their bid.
Barker Associates have been helping schools apply for vital funding for many years, and have so far secured over £70million.
If your school needs help applying for funding, contact us today to find out how we can help.