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Energy efficient schools could save the government billions

New school buildings could save the department for education £2.6bn a year, report finds

Posted by Ed Brown | November 09, 2017 | School life

Updating the DfE’s estate with more energy efficient buildings could save almost 5% of its annual budget.

A new report by the Centre for Economics and Business Research (Cebr) has found that modern building technologies could meet the growing demand for new school buildings while saving the DfE billions of pounds.

Net Zero Buildings’ Schoolhaus® are new, energy efficient school buildings that can be constructed off-site using state-of-the-art modular techniques. Their airtight construction, effective insulation and the generation of energy and revenue through solar make them the UK’s most energy-efficient school buildings.

Cebr’s report found that, if all schools in England were as efficient and as economical to maintain as Schoolhaus®, it would save the Department for Education £2.6bn a year.

These savings are reflected over the long-term. If 2,000 new schools need to be built – as some estimates suggest – and were built as Schoolhaus® buildings rather than more traditional buildings, Cebr found that the annual saving from energy and operation and maintenance alone would be £295m. Over 30 years, this equates to a nominal saving of over £8.5bn.

Neil Smith, Chief Executive Officer at Net Zero Buildings, said: “With pupil numbers forecast to grow by around 10% between now and 2026, it’s clear that innovative solutions are required to ease the pressing need for new school buildings. This report shows that the government has an opportunity to meet this demand, save money and help to protect the environment.

“60% of current school buildings were built before 1976, using outdated and inefficient technologies. They are already struggling to meet the growing demand for new pupil places and are sapping billions from the UK’s education budget. Schoolhaus® is a truly unique solution that shows how modern technology can meet this address this issue while saving money from the public purse at the same time.”

Sean Slack, an Economist at Cebr, said: “Our report shows that the Schoolhaus® design can provide clear economic benefits through its energy efficiency, low operation and maintenance costs and capital costs. The analysis indicates that, together, these benefits would bring value for money to the public sector.”

The report also found that a shift from a purchase to a leasing model would provide cost savings and other benefits, including reduced capital requirements, more flexibility, a simpler budgeting process, which is significant as 20-year operating leases are one of the viable funding options for new Schoolhaus® buildings.

The executive summary of the Cebr report can be found here:

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