13th January, 2011
Milton Keynes, 13 January 2011 – UK schools risk missing out on significant financial savings by not approaching energy usage systematically, IMServ a leading carbon and energy consultancy and part of Invensys Operation Management, warned in a White Paper released today. IMServ estimates that applying a more systematic approach would enable most schools to reduce energy costs by at least 10%, which would result in an estimated £40-50 million in savings if achieved across England and Wales according to Department for Education figures.
According to IMServ, schools have a great array of opportunities for improving energy efficiency and gain financial, environmental and curriculum benefits, but are facing several challenges. One of the main challenges lies with the understanding of energy usage as many schools rely on information from supplier bills which only provide aggregated consumption data.
Changing patterns of school building use, including after-hours clubs and evening adult education classes, and the continued use of ICT in the classroom are a few examples of the importance for schools to apply a more evidence-based and systematic approach. IMServ findings show that it is vital for schools to collect consumption data bespoke to the school's specific requirements and interpret these findings methodically in order to go ahead with any successful energy savings plans. Schools also need to take a 'whole school' approach to get everyone from management to pupils involved, as well as follow up all efforts.
Schools are finding that energy conservation is now more important than ever, with soaring energy prices and energy efficiency being introduced into the curriculum. Although many schools are investing in solar panels and wind turbines as well as encouraging switching off lights, IMServ points out that these investments need to be part of an overall evidence-based strategy in order to be effective. Also, energy savings delivered via improved efficiency can deliver environmental and financial benefits immediately.
Mike Cordner, Energy Savvy School Product Manager, IMServ, said: "It's no longer a question of "if" but "when", eventually every school will have to become energy savvy. New technologies, such as the IMServ interactive dashboard, mean schools can now take responsibility, with no added pressure on budgets, to address the key challenges they face in improving energy efficiency, reducing costs and building a more sustainable future."
IMServ has worked alongside UK schools to design a five-step programme for effective change: Energy Savvy Schools.