EnergyMyWay were recently asked by Flying Start Magazine to explain how we help schools reduce their carbon footprints and become more energy efficient.
The need to become more energy efficient is pressing upon independent schools more than ever before. Energy bills are soaring and carbon taxes are now a reality; schools need to respond with sustainable measures to reduce their energy costs. But for many independent schools in the UK, this is a lot easier said than done. Developing a strategy for long-term sustainability needs careful consideration, so what is the best way to make sure your school gets it right?
EnergyMyWay, a specialist energy efficiency company assisting schools across the country, believes they have the answer. Managing Director, Jason Hobbins explains,
?Many of our independent schools are high energy users with hard to treat, unique buildings. There isn?t a one-size-fits-all answer to becoming more energy efficient for properties like this. Our approach is a step-by-step process, working in partnership with bursars over a period of time.
We always start by assessing the school?s current energy usage so there is a benchmark for measuring progress. We then identify efficiency measures and renewable energy technologies that will make the greatest difference to the school. Over time we can then install a range of technologies, often during holiday periods and to fit in with the school?s building development plans. With each installation we are able to demonstrate the improved efficiency against the original benchmark and show the positive impact on the schools finances.?
An example of a unique energy problem in an old established school property was found in Abingdon School in Oxfordshire. The energy assessment produced by EnergyMyWay revealed that every time a shower was switched on in the boarding house, it was taking a staggering three minutes for the hot water to travel to reach the shower. With their very high shower usage, this was having a significant impact on the hot water bills for the school. The solution was to install two hot water heat pumps, designed to extract the heat from the shower rooms and recycle it to produce an endless source of free hot water.
?Many people think of Solar when they think of renewable energy? Mr Hobbins continues, ?While we usually do install solar as part of a good sustainability strategy, the easier, quicker wins are often with the heating and hot water systems; this is why its so important to understand exactly how energy is being used in the property at the moment.
With older buildings it is essential to get the basics right first. This comes down to ensuring that everything that can be done to improve insulation is addressed. We will look for opportunities to insulate lofts, cavity walls and solid walls. For hard to treat buildings we may also consider the benefits of internal wall insulation.
Air Source and Ground Source Heat Pumps are highly efficient ways of reducing heating costs, particularly as part of the development of new school buildings.