So times are tough for schools, as they are for all of us. But not only are energy (and water) among the biggest non-staff costs in educational establishments – they’re also a key part of their environmental impact. And The Carbon Trust reckons that most organisations can cut their energy spend by at least a tenth by adopting some easy efficiency measures which can produce quick returns on investment.
Another important consideration is the role schools (and other public bodies) have in meeting Government de-carbonisation targets: from Gov.uk website “The Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme supports the aim of reducing emissions from public sector buildings by 75% by 2037, compared to a 2017 baseline, as set out in the 2021 Net Zero and Heat and Buildings strategies.”
So, whether its saving money, meeting Government targets or ‘just doing the right thing’, the focus on saving energy has never been greater. Here are some ideas to help you on that journey:
Tips for saving energy at your school
Actively involve staff and pupils in formulating a policy for energy efficiency and empower them to make change. Include goals and targets, milestones to review progress and roles and responsibilities. Encourage small changes, such as turning off lights and electrical equipment when it’s not in use. Make everyone in the life of your school aware of the energy they’re using, and include saving energy in lesson plans.
Of course, you’ll also want to monitor consumption via meter readings, check your tariff and bills regularly, and be sure that you understand these.
You may also wish to fit energy-efficient lighting and controls, improve insulation and be sure you’re using heating as efficiently and as effectively as possibly, as well as only when it’s needed.
Think about solar panels on your canopies
Photovoltaic or PV solar panels convert sunlight into electrical energy. And solar PV for schools offers a number of benefits.
Solar panels can significantly reduce your school’s energy bills, meaning you can allocate more resources elsewhere. Equally, of course, solar energy is a clean and renewable source of energy that produces no greenhouse gases, so it’s a very eco-friendly option.
Not only that, but you can use having solar panels to teach pupils about living sustainably and renewable energy. Additionally, you’ll be in a stronger position and more independent and resilient when it comes to power cuts or other energy outages.
Finally, you may even be able to earn some revenue by selling back unused energy (for example any saved over holiday periods) to the grid via feed-in tariffs.
How school canopies can be energy winners
At Kensington Systems, we supply solar PV canopies for schools. These are our regular high-quality school canopies with solar panels built into the roof so you can generate renewable energy at the same time as creating a valuable new outdoor space you can use for learning, play or dining.
We fit the solar roof panels and canopies together or we can retrofit panels to our previously installed canopies, groundworks and grid connection are included in our fee.
You could cut carbon emissions to the tune of thousands of kilos of CO2 a year. A typical medium-sized canopy (75m2) could save up to 2.7 tonnes of CO2 per annum.
What’s more, a solar PV canopy will pay for itself in the space of just a few years. It may also provide access to a wider range of grant and funding opportunities than would have been possible had you fitted the panels and the structure separately.
Solar PV school canopies suit new and older buildings, and we offer fresh installations as well as retrofits.