A big issue, which many schools, colleges and universities can relate to, is being under pressure to perform to higher standards even when faced with the issue of rising costs yet reduced funding.
Educational organisations in England have suffered the worst fall in government spending of late according to a report by the Institute for Fiscal Studies, highlighted by the Guardian. The report highlights that planned increases in spending will barely cover the dry spell endured by the sector since 2010.
Rising pupil numbers, teaching salaries and repairs on infrastructure have been a big pressure on these organisations, who often have inadequate funding. Also, in the case of schools becoming academies, it has had a knock-on effect, resulting in the need for more teacher roles within schools. Thus, increasing the requirement for further funding to cover basic necessities and improvements.
Building regulations with schools are set at a much higher standard due to safety requirements and the particular sensitivity of children being involved. A simple boiler replacement, for example, is far more costly as it must be strictly compliant and adhere to tighter regulations. This makes it more expensive, which results in a knock-on effect on other resources and the inability to afford them. In some extreme cases simple amenities such as standards of cleaning being reduced.
Rather than spending a large amount of the budget on buying brand new equipment, a retrofit can have substantial benefits. As well as saving money, you can reduce energy usage. Science Direct emphasises this ‘Retrofitting existing buildings is critical to reducing energy use and GHG emissions.’
An overall or select part retrofit with energy-efficient measures can reduce consumption and in turn reduce costs. It can be as simple as the installation or draft excluders. Automatic door closers are a big win for schools, keeping not only the children safely inside, but also ensuring the building stays warm, by stopping the heat from escaping. Larger investments that can also benefit schools include; LED lighting, boiler replacement, combined heat and power systems and solar.
This not only improves your energy efficiency and saves money, but it sets a good example. You can empower the children, teenagers or young adults with energy efficiency and carbon zero knowledge. Educate them about The Paris Agreement, our zero-carbon target of 2050 and about the future of our planet.
There are many examples of this having worked for a variety of institutions; ‘Retrofit energy efficiency project saves Soham Village College thousands while reducing carbon emissions’ Ely Standard, ‘Older schools to be transformed into top-rated energy efficient buildings’ The Irish Times are just two of these as well as some of our clients e.g. Catholic Academy Group which we worked closely with to reduce their energy usage through improvements to their facilities including; TRVs to all radiators, full lighting refurbishment, loose jacket insulation to main calorifiers and intumescent/weather strips fitted to external fire doors.
Combine a free organisation energy audit with a retrofit and smart funding solutions, such as our Revolving Green Fund (an exclusive initiative which enables businesses to receive interest-free funds for any energy cost-saving technologies or equipment) and you will reap the rewards of energy efficiency quickly. Call us today to make this happen for your organisation; firstname.lastname@example.org / 02476 997 901.
Article written by Julie Plunkett-Dent, Business Development Manager