Energy Management Support for Schools
Customer: Group of four schools in South West England
Focus: Implication of full Carbon Management Plan / Energy Management Support
With so many other demands on their time, we understand that Estates and Facilities staff at some Academies and Colleges may not have sufficient time and resources to develop and implement a full Carbon Management Plan, even if they are very mindful of rising energy costs and the need to control energy use in what can be a complex collection of buildings and campuses.
At Concept, we tailor our services to the needs of our clients: some may have fully embraced the challenges and requirements of a comprehensive energy management strategy and simply require an additional resource that can contribute cost-effectively. Others may be less experienced in this area and ask us to help set up and implement an effective carbon management plan.
Background: We approached a large college in the West Midlands to discuss providing energy management support. Our contact indicated that with so many other priorities energy management across the Estate had not (yet) been a focus of attention. We were invited to put forward proposals to assist the college in managing energy/carbon within a longer-term strategy
The Challenge: To devise a cost-efficient energy management plan for a large college with a diverse range of buildings and occupancy requirements.
Actions: Following some preliminary site visits to familiarise ourselves with the estate of buildings and to discuss requirements with key personnel, we were able to propose an Action Plan covering the following key areas:
- Data collection – establishing what data is currently and establishing processes for its regular collection, analysis and reporting
- Site surveys – all the buildings within scope required inspection, to assess condition, energy usage an any obvious issues to be addressed
- Preliminary targets – with information on current performance and details of the buildings and usage, we would produce preliminary reduction targets for the buildings and the campuses as a whole
- Action Plan for implementation of initiatives – further studies would be required to validate preliminary recommendations (and identify others) and to include these within an overall plan, distinguishing self-financing “quick wins” from capex projects and having regard to asset lifecycle (buildings and plant), funding, etc
- Monitoring and Targeting – ensuring that it is possible to monitor “before and after” performance and to check that savings are sustained over time. Longer term targets can be developed at this stage with more detailed information available about current building status and performance, leading to targets that may be challenging, but which are realistic and achievable.
- Awareness Campaigns – promoting energy awareness among students and staff: providing updates on progress, including screens displaying data in Reception areas.
- External Comms – sharing the success stories with other academies and colleges and linking in to the local university to exchange ideas and promote good practice
Benefits: Initially, the benefit to the College is to have a clearer idea of where, how and how much energy is being used across the Estate; then, working with Concept the College can target the areas with greatest potential for savings first, helping to fund other initiatives downstream.
By implementing an effective monitoring policy the College can be sure that any investment in energy reduction measures is sound and bringing long-term benefit. Annual energy expenditure becomes more predictable for future budgeting and having a long term target gives the College a focus in its energy and environmental policy decisions.
Work on this large project is just beginning…