Saving energy at school | Oxfordshire County Council

Save energy at school

Top tips to manage your energy use and keep energy bills down.

Managing energy use and costs in schools

Keeping energy costs down

To help keep costs down, maintained schools are included in Oxfordshire County Council’s energy-purchasing contract with LASER, an arm of Kent County Council and recognised buying organisation for the public sector. 

LASER buys energy for more than 100 local authorities and makes use of its bulk buying power to purchase supplies at a competitive price. 

LASER - and other providers - offer independent services to academies. 

Energy bills

Check your energy bills when they arrive and try to avoid estimated bills. 

The Carillion Energy Team validates energy bills for all maintained schools in Oxfordshire, providing a safety net which should help avoid over or under charging. If you have any queries or concerns about your bills, contact the team by emailing cesbureau@carillionplc.com

Monitor your energy use

You probably know how much you spent on energy in the past few months, but do you know how much you used? Having a clear picture of your energy use over time will help you avoid unnecessary costs. 

An automatic meter reader or smart meter will help you spot unusual patterns of use, highlight opportunities to be more energy efficient and save money on your energy bills. More information about monitoring energy.

Top tips to keep costs down

Electricity

  • Turn off computers and monitors when not in use – they still use power if left on standby. 
  • Turn off equipment and lights whenever you can. 
  • Using a kettle? Only boil as much water in as you need. 
  • If you have a 'point of use' water heater check if it has a timer installed. If not, consider turning it off at the end of the day and over the weekend. 

Gas

  • If a room is too hot during winter, turn heating down before opening windows.
  • Avoid blocking radiators. 

How to manage your energy use

Follow the simple steps below to put in place a process to help you monitor, manage and reduce your energy use. Click on the links to find further details, hints and tips, and sources of advice for each step along the way

Creating an energy policy for your school

Your school's energy policy sets out how your school wishes to reduce its energy consumption.  There are a number of things you will need to consider when writing your policy document/statement.

The energy team in your school

It's important to recognise that staff and pupils are your biggest asset when it comes to driving down energy consumption. The Energy Team should engage with staff and students in order to help facilitate behavioural change and manage the school building's services efficiently. 

Monitoring and metering energy in schools

Before you can reduce your energy use, you need to know how much you use!  You can do this in several ways.  

Writing an energy action plan

An energy action plan is an key part of your school's energy management system. It should summarise the actions you want to take at your school to use energy more efficiently and, where possible, reduce energy consumption. It should help you raise awareness and gain support from the whole school community.   

Setting an energy reduction target

Once you have written your energy policy, established your energy team and conducted some initial monitoring to get an idea of your baseline energy use, it's a good idea to set a target for reducing your energy consumption.

A target provides a clear focus and will enable you to quantify and therefore communicate your progress more easily. 

Implementing your school's energy management system

Once you have written your policy, established an energy team, begun monitoring and written your action plan you are ready to begin implementing your energy management system. 

Check progress and keep monitoring

Now that you've begun to put your plans into action, you will need to keep monitoring your energy use.  This will help you to see how well your action plan is working and to check progress against your targets. Reporting back to the school management team and governors will help raise awareness.  

Tell everyone

Share your good news, plans and top tips to involve the whole school community.  Could you show case your activities to other schools?  Please get in touch.

Useful information

Funding for energy efficiency projects

Salix finance Ltd offer 100% interest-free loans for suitable energy efficiency projects, with schemes for both maintained schools and academies.

Renewables

Low Carbon Hub develops community-owned renewable energy in Oxfordshire and have installed solar panels on more than 20 schools in the county to date.  

Advice on energy efficiency

The organisations listed below offer energy efficiency advice and services to all schools in Oxfordshire. If you know of any others, please let us know.

Reduce Your Use works with schools in and around the county to identify potentially wasted energy and the associated cost. 

Environmental Information Exchange, Oxford Brookes University offer a cost effective energy efficiency support service for primary and secondary schools.  For further information visit the website or email Michael Esvelt.

The Carbon Trust webpages offer useful advice on energy efficiency and carbon saving for schools.

Last reviewed
09 October 2017
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