As we head into the winter months – days getting colder, evenings getting darker – the need to light and heat your school premises increases – and so do the unavoidable costs incurred. Shea Karssing, writer for Smarter Business, shares some simple ways to keep your bills to a minimum and save on electricity – the key being, shop around!
Looking for savings in energy costs is one of the simplest ways for schools to, collectively, save millions of pounds a year. We’ve found that, although the government allows schools the freedom to buy their energy where they choose, many schools simply don’t take advantage of this flexibility and opportunity to save.
As a result, many educational establishments are paying more than they need to for their gas and electricity – money that could be put directly towards education.
Did you know? Lighting comprises almost 50% of the electricity used by schools.
How much are schools paying for electricity?
Figures from the Department for Education show that schools spend an average of £27,000 per year on energy, with some of the larger schools paying up to £80,000! Like businesses, schools should shop around to cut their energy bills. There’s also more to saving electricity than reducing energy tariffs; schools should look to reduce energy consumption within their own walls.
Reducing energy consumption
A government guide reports that more than 20% of energy consumed goes to waste and that schools can reduce energy bills by 10% through simple good housekeeping alone.
Top tips for saving energy
- Involve the whole school in saving electricity and have your students come up with ideas to secure energy savings.
- Switch desktop computers for laptop computers as these consume far less energy.
- Use Energy-Star appliances which use energy more efficiently.
- Replace all your incandescent lights with LED or energy-efficient fluorescents – they cost a little more up front, but last ten times longer and are four times more efficient.
- Turn off lights when not in use.
- Have your heating on a timer that comes on in the morning and is turned off at night.
- Check that buildings are properly insulated.
- Try to use natural lighting as much as possible.
- Use smarter metering solutions to monitor energy use and identify potential energy efficiencies.
Longer-term energy-efficient investments can include:
- installing solar panels;
- re-insulating your buildings;
- upgrading your heating and cooling systems;
- investing in new energy-efficient equipment.
With a focus on effective energy management, plus efficiencies, schools in the UK stand not only to save money on energy bills, but to lessen their carbon footprints in the process – a win-win for all!