Schools are always on a tight budget – that’s a fact. Staffing is always the biggest cost that a school faces, but energy and water costs are also high. Many schools could reduce their energy and water costs by taking some, or all, of the following steps recommended by the expert team at Pump Sales Direct.
1. Install modern heating controls
Modern heating controls allow for very accurate control of both temperature and timing. Reducing the temperature by one degree can reduce heating costs dramatically (by up to 10%), as can ensuring that the heating is only on when it is needed. Using the heating for one hour less every day can also reduce heating bills.
2. Energy efficient lighting
Lighting represents nearly half of the electricity bill for most schools. taking simple steps like replacing old bulbs or fluorescent tubes with energy efficient ones will reduce the amount of electricity your school uses, as will installing lighting sensors in areas which are not often used.
3. Switch to smart metering
Smart metering can provide you with plenty of data about how energy is used in the school. Once you understand how energy is being used, you can plan ways to use less!
4. Use water wisely
It may be hard to believe when you live in the UK, but water is a scarce resource – and one which is increasingly expensive. Water conservation devices installed in a school can cut water usage by half – and that means potentially cutting water bills in half as well.
Water saving devices include cistern dams, urinal controllers, flow restrictors and self closing taps. It’s also worth investigating the type of pumps your school uses – an energy efficient pump can save both water and electricity.
5. Manage your ICT equipment
ICT is a fantastic learning tool, and important to the management of schools as well, but it can be very energy-hungry. ICT equipment doesn’t just directly use electricity. It also requires that more electricity be used to light, heat or cool rooms. It’s important to always install energy efficient equipment, preferably with power management features.
6. Make sure your pipes are insulated
If you keep pipe runs short and insulate them properly, you will have less tepid water loss. Insulation will also help prevent pipes freezing in winter, so it’s a good move all round.
7. Eliminate draughts
Draughts from windows and doors are uncomfortable and expensive. If you draught strip doors and windows, you will increase the comfort level of your school and reduce the heating costs as well.
8. Check for leaks
Leaking water pipes, especially underground water pipes, can lose an enormous amount of water and be very expensive. If you check your pipes regularly, and make sure that any leaks are mended as soon as possible, you’ll reduce your water bill considerably.
If you suspect a leak, a good way to check is to use your water meter. If you take a reading at the very end of the day, then again first thing in the morning, any considerable difference will indicate a leak.
9. Install renewables
Small scale renewable energy systems (such as wind turbines, biomass, solar heat and power and heat pumps) reduce your carbon footprint and lower your bills. They can also be very valuable teaching resources!
10. Understand your bill
Energy bills can be confusing at the best of times. It’s a good idea to persevere and make sense of yours, though, as you can make money saving changes to your energy use if you understand your tariff. Using timers to reduce energy usage at peak times can make big savings.
11. Education, education, education
Finally, the best thing you can do is make sure that all your staff and students are educated about water and energy usage. They need to be aware of the financial and environmental costs, and be ready to do the small things that will make big savings – such as turning off lights, taps and other equipment.