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Saving energy in schools

Fri, 05/12/2017 - 09:48

The SFX Effect

Saint Francis Xavier school in Richmond has made great progress in energy reduction and leads the way for secondary schools in realising financial savings from environmental campaigns.
The energy team has been working closely with Margaret Land, School Business Manager, who has been the driving force behind the campaigns.
The school’s energy usage was increasing year on year, most notably from 2012/13, despite there being no expansion of the site or any increase in pupil numbers. In October 2014 the issue was highlighted to all the staff across the school and encouraged them to take part in a number of initiatives including turning off lights, PC’s and projectors when they were not needed. “Power Down Pete”, the schools carbon reduction officer from the energy and sustainability team visited the school to inspire students to make a difference too.
The results have been impressive. “Over the 12 months to February 2017 we have cut our consumption by 43,296 KwH – a reduction of almost 14%.”
The school was also keen to invest capital funds to realise cost savings in the future.
In October 2014 the school was fortunate enough to have some capital funding availble which was invested in 48 Solar Panels on the South facing roof. The panels were installed in January 2015; helping staff and students to engage further with the energy reduction campaign.

Energy useage


• Based on the current tariff the school has achieved an energy saving of approx. £4,600 over the last 12 months.
• A further £1,600 of annual income has been received from our Solar Panels.

Culture change

Student driven campaigns have been key to developing a culture of switching off and now the school is looking at waste issues in an attempt to increase the uptake of recycling. By changing their bins to largley recycling bins and promoting recycling across the school a further £1,000 a year has been saved..
The school’s Eco Club is now working with the North Yorkshire Catering team to explore the opportunities for composting food waste.
Composting is something that the energy and sustainability team have been working on with the councils waste team to support the North Yorkshire “Rotters”. Reduced price compost bins are now available for schools to purchase and the team of rotters will also visit your school to talk about food waste.
Looking ahead the school are investigating the possibility of LED lighting following a recent lighting survey. They plan to use this to explore whether further energy savings can be achieved.
Their aim is to continue to improve the schools environmental credentials whilst at the same time saving vital funds . In an era of increasing pressure on financial resources this is a key aim that we will always support.