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This academic year, work on becoming an energy-efficient school

With the new school year in full swing, it’s a busy time for school senior leadership teams (SLTs). New pupils need settling in, while existing students need help with the next stage of their curriculum. But SLTs also have an eye on school budgets, whether they receive funds directly from a local authority, or they’re in academy chains. One area where schools can free up funds for curricular resources and improved facilities is via savings on their utility bills. Hodgkinson Bennis services for schools help by working with schools to improve energy efficiency.

The scale of school energy usage in the UK

Across the country, the school sector uses a massive amount of energy on an annual basis. Generally, secondary schools will have higher energy costs than primary schools. Secondary schools have longer hours and larger number of students. And they make more widespread use of electrical equipment in ICT, science, sports and crafts lessons.

A Carbon Trust study suggests UK schools could save up to £44 million each year on energy. Given around 65% of schools’ energy costs arise from heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) and hot water requirements, this is a key area for improvement. Savings on utilities could be even greater if schools also control their water usage, turn off lighting and other equipment when not in use, and maintain building fabric.

Energy-efficient schools start with new equipment

Installing a new boiler or HVAC system may be a good place to start saving money. All such equipment will eventually give out, and Hodgkinson Bennis are experts at fitting and commissioning new boilers and HVAC systems in schools. We’re able to design and install systems, including work on plant rooms. We can advise on the best fuel source for school boilers, be it gas, liquid or solid fuels. Schools can consider biomass boilers, which benefit from the government’s Non-Domestic Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) to offset installation costs over the boiler’s lifetime.

Schools can also look to refurbish and replace control equipment. HVAC system control can be problematic with old, inefficient time controls. Upgrades to state-of-the-art thermostats and timer switches can pay for themselves very quickly through energy cost savings. For instance, we can advise on an optimum start controller, which learns how quickly the building reaches the desired temperature. It then brings the heating on in time for the arrival of staff and students, depending on the weather.

Improving and maintaining existing systems can reduce waste

Hodgkinson Bennis can redesign hot water systems. Older heating and hot water systems waste hot water through redundancy. For instance, if pipes to hot water taps are too long, people will have to run the water until it becomes hot. We can review your pipework design to make it more efficient. Rationalising pipework and installing point-of-use heaters can save water and energy, and also have beneficial effects on reducing water waste.

We can undertake regular servicing and maintenance of existing boilers and HVAC equipment, as well as pipework. Once schools have an efficient boiler fitted, it’s essential to keep it regularly serviced and maintained. We can help by undertaking annual gas safety checks and insurance inspections. And we can devise a planned preventive maintenance (PPM) schedule to ensure that your system goes on operating at peak efficiency.

Everyone can get involved in energy-efficient schools

Ultimately, everyone in a school should have some responsibility to use resources wisely. For instance, an energy team comprising management, teachers, maintenance staff, cleaners and students can help identify opportunities for savings. The energy team can start by checking equipment, lights, heating and building fabric, and doing so at different times of the day, for example during lessons and at break times. They can note usage patterns, poor habits and maintenance issues as these can show up obvious savings as well as investment opportunities.

Involving students in improving energy efficiency in schools helps them to learn about the built environment. A great idea for a PSHE lesson is for students to work with your energy maintenance team. But students and teachers can also get more creative to raise awareness of energy efficiency. Ask students to calculate energy usage and graphs in maths sessions, and teach them about energy sources and climate change in science and geography. Communicate key messages in English lessons, and ask them to design energy saving posters in art classes.

Schools can register with the Energy Certification for Schools programme to access a simple-to-use energy monitoring tool and other useful resources for managing energy use. Take meter readings last thing at night and first thing in the morning. This allows you to calculate energy usage when no-one is there – and focus on reducing that usage.

Hodgkinson Bennis is on hand to work with schools looking to improve their energy efficiency. Talk to one of our team today to find out about energy-efficient school equipment.

About Hodgkinson Bennis energy efficient boiler services for schools

Hodgkinson Bennis design, install and maintain the most fuel-efficient commercial and industrial boilers. Headquartered in Manchester, we work across the UK, particularly in the North West, North East and throughout the Midlands. Contact us today to discuss how we can deliver advanced commercial and industrial boilers.

At Hodgkinson Bennis, we have worked with commercial and industrial boilers since 1872. This history gives us an enviable amount of experience as pioneers in the industry. We place an enormous emphasis on ensuring the health and safety of all team members, suppliers, contractors, and the public. We provide the most fuel-efficient boiler solutions for industrial and commercial applications. Our steam and hot water boiler services help to make schools energy efficient.


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