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Big energy savings for Wigan primary

Bedford Hall Methodist School is set to annually save more than £10,000 thanks to green energy projects

Posted by Julian Owen | October 24, 2017 | Facilities & buildings

Bedford Hall Methodist School, a primary academy in Wigan is set to save tens of thousands of pounds and significantly reduce its greenhouse gas emissions after investing in multiple energy reduction projects.

The school, which has achieved Green Flag status thanks to its focus on the environment, has installed numerous energy efficiency measures, estimated to reduce the school’s energy bills by more than £11,200 per year, as well as decrease its greenhouse gas emissions and improve the learning environment for pupils.

The energy improvements were made possible thanks to more than £49,000 worth of funding from Salix Finance, an independent, government-funded organisation which increases energy efficiency across the public sector.

The school combined a Salix loan with grant funding from the Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) to invest in a range of new technologies.

Three condensing boilers with insulation were fitted to replace the school’s outdated manual boiler, while an improved heating system with zoning controls was also installed to ensure that rooms are only heated as and when required.

To ensure the building was operating at an optimum level of efficiency, the school installed a new Building Energy Management System (BEMS). Using the BEMS to control heating, ventilation and air-conditioning, the school was able to create a more comfortable learning environment for pupils and staff. By maintaining the correct balance between operating requirements and environmental conditions the BEMS will remove wasted energy usage and the associated costs.

To further improve the building’s energy efficiency and meet health and safety standards, the school enhanced its roofing and insulation. This resulted in fixing the previous leaks and increasing heat retention. The replacement of the school’s radiators throughout the buildings has also contributed to an improved learning environment as well as increasing available space in classrooms and creating more storage.

As well as reduced energy bills, the upgrades have diminished general maintenance costs. In total, the improvements are estimated to save the academy more than £124,000 over the lifetime of the technologies.

Joanne Buckley, Acorn Trust Business Manager, said: “Before investing in these energy efficient technologies, the school experienced cold classrooms as a result of a dated manual boiler and a leaking roof which was causing considerable heat loss.

“As a school that’s committed to its energy efficiency, we were determined to resolve these issues and reduce our energy waste – something which we have effectively achieved since implementing our energy improvements. We have noticed a huge difference already as the heating has improved immensely and zoning controls have allowed us to have greater control of which rooms get heated for before and after school clubs. The children and staff have appreciated a warmer and more comfortable school, and can now focus entirely on achieving their potential.”

The cost of the Salix loan will be repaid over 4.4 years through the savings recouped from the reduced energy bills. This cost-neutral approach means that the financial impact of the upgrades for the school is minimal. Once the loan has been repaid, the school will continue to benefit from the predicted £11,000 savings annually.

Salix provides funding in the form of an interest-free loan, enabling the money to be recycled and therefore continue to benefit more projects throughout the public sector. 


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