£500 million of Government funding has been made available to help future-proof schools and colleges with energy efficiency measures.
The Department for Education (DfE) claims the funding, on average, means £42,000 for each secondary school and £16,000 per primary school, while further education colleges will get around £290,000.
Guidance from the DfE says that making investments to improve energy efficiency will help schools and colleges manage rising costs and suggests using the money for measures such as improved heating controls, increased insulation to reduce heat loss from pipes and switching to energy-efficient lighting such as LEDs.
Along with the rest of us, schools and colleges are struggling to cope with soaring energy prices. The prospect of an end to the energy relief scheme designed to help meet rising costs means many schools are genuinely concerned about how they will pay their way when that support disappears or is reduced.
There are warnings that unaffordable bills will result in unavoidable cuts to the levels of education provided to students and this is clearly the most pressing concern. Any improvements to energy efficiency are unlikely to be of much comfort in the short term, but hopefully the benefits will be felt long into the future.
How controls reduce your heating system’s energy consumption
Most air conditioning manufacturers have an array of system controls, from a simple infra-red remote to wired devices. These will often be seen in each individual classroom.
Advanced controllers offer much more than temperature control and on/off status and different manufacturers offer different solutions and features. Some may incorporate CO₂ sensors to maintain or improve indoor air quality, and some may feature human motion sensors, turning units off when a room has been unoccupied for some time, thus saving on operating costs.
Advanced central controllers can manage multiple HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning) systems in a building, set temperatures for each room, turn units on or off, monitor energy consumption and even send alerts in real time to the facility manager/receptionist to repair a fault before a potential breakdown occurs. Central controllers are ideal for schools as a lot of heat energy is wasted. Setting your control schedule (weekly/monthly/ yearly) allows units to be on or off only when required and not rely on individuals to turn units off when leaving a room.
Batchelor Air Conditioning & Refrigeration is here to help with guidance on getting the most from your school’s HVAC system.
Whether you are looking to upgrade your system controls or seeking advice on a service and maintenance package, please get in touch to discover how our expertise can help future-proof energy use in your school or college.