How much strategic priority do schools place on planning their budgets? The National College for Teaching & Leadership suggests that for many schools, their budgets are a purely administrative issue. However, being aware of overheads and how they impact on overall expenditure is crucial. One key area for school budgets should be through energy savings.
Having the Right Priorities
Kevin Goodhew, of Partnership Energy, advises, “Although it is understandable that teachers may prioritise teaching over budgetary concerns, budgets are key to a school’s performance”.
“A teacher’s motivation is going to focus mainly on pupils’ needs. But everyone needs to be aware of the school’s budget and work together to make the best use of it by getting value for money”
If schools are energy-efficient, they are saving money. This is money which can then be allocated for use elsewhere. “Funding can be tight”, Kevin explains, “particularly with extra-curricular activities. It is exactly these kinds of things that add value to what a school can offer its pupils. Energy savings can free up funds for other uses”.
A fact sheet from the Carbon Trust into energy savings in schools points out that lighting accounts for up to 25% of the total energy used in schools.
“Lighting is a key area for energy saving, as a long-term strategy”, Kevin suggests. “The fact is that with the right kind of LED lighting, possibly combined with sensors, schools could be saving up to 75% on their lighting costs. Also, in many cases, 100% financing is available”.
Energy Saving Strategies for Schools
Kevin advises a strategic approach, whereby schools should not seek to save simply by purchasing cheap hardware. Instead they should prioritise with the kind of quality energy-saving lighting that will be durable and save them more in the long-run.
“Smart, well-planned energy saving isn’t simply about switching bulbs. Nor is it just remembering to turn the lights off when you leave a room”, Kevin comments.
“Lighting should be fully integrated into organizational planning and treated as something to be properly invested in to reap the full benefits”
These benefits are budgetary but also environmental. There are real, long-term savings to be made alongside a reduction in energy use and carbon emissions”, Kevin concludes. “With all this comes the added reputational benefit for the school. This then really adds up to a smart energy strategy”.
To start your Smart Energy Strategy, you can get a free electrical audit by calling Partnership Energy on 01253 868 192 or visiting partnershipenergy.co.uk