Leader magazineASCL - Association of School and College Leaders

Energy saving is such a turn-off...

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Britain's schools and colleges spend almost 400million a year on energy, accounting for around a quarter of all public sector energy costs. As Secretary of State Ed Balls talks of a potential 2 billion in education cuts, energy bills are one area in which the Carbon Trust suggests that 10 per cent savings are readily achievable with little or no capital outlay. This would equate to between 70-84 million saving for schools and colleges country wide.

In many cases, says the Carbon Trust, the savings could be achieved at almost no cost - switching off lights when not in use, unplugging monitors at night, reducing heating temperatures by a few degrees, or upgrading insulation.

Some schools and colleges have reported substantial savings by installing automated meter reading technology to monitor gas and electricity. On a monthly basis it will identify a consumption profile of usage, highlighting wastage and/or inefficiency. This data can also be used to validate invoices from suppliers and manage budgets more efficiently.

To help meet the target to reduce CO2 emissions by 20 per cent by 2010, the government is offering technical assistance and funding to public sector organisations, including schools and colleges, with initial free site surveys by experienced listed consultants advising on energy saving measures that will cut carbon emissions and at potentially save up to 30 per cent on energy bills. Grants of up to 10,000 are also available, dependant upon criteria.

Finally, ASCL's commercial partner LSI has found that four out of five schools which are part of a local authoritynegotiated contract are paying higher rates than necessary for their fuel bills.

LSI provides a free service to ASCL members, auditing their fuel bills to determine exactly how much the are paying and whether there are more cost effective deals available. LSI can also advise on the automated meter reading technology and government schemes detailed above.

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