Schools must STEM rising energy bills, and help is at hand

Powercor’s Technical Director, Chris Wright, explains why the education sector needs to tackle the threat posed by rising energy prices on its ability to provide students with the education they deserve and why Powercor can be the ideal partner in meeting the challenge.

Schools and colleges are increasingly turning to new ways to manage their energy usage not only to drive their green agenda but to reduce their costs amid an environment of soaring prices.

It comes at a time when Powercor’s efforts to raise the interest of students into STEM subjects is gathering pace following our remarkably successful participation in SATROfest.

The event saw students from across the country meet with businesses which have a real expertise in the creation and delivery of energy.

It was interesting see that there was a higher interest from female students than their male counterparts in pursuing a career in energy, where STEM disciplines are key. However, what was uniform across both was their lack of knowledge around the costs of energy. Be it kilowatt hours or units, students had little understanding of the price put on the power they use daily.

Powercor engaged students in the use of Ohm’s Law to understand the energy costs of operating six light bulbs for a year. While students said their schools and colleges used lighting constantly throughout the year, they were shocked to discover that the annual cost of using a single bulb was around £550, with that figure set to increase as energy costs rise in the coming months.

The event also highlighted the fact that all school and colleges are now taking or looking to take steps to tackle the level of energy they use.

The majority of schools have seen their energy bills increase by 50% or more in the past 12 months and as such are looking at how they can reduce those costs and invest the funds saved into the education they deliver.

As an expert in energy for the education sector Powercor understands that the first step in any strategy to reduce energy usage is to accurately identify the amount that is already being utilised.

For many schools, the receipt of a single invoice for their energy costs makes the task all the more difficult and they need to breakdown their bills to better understand where the issues lie.

Working with clients Powercor takes a building by building approach, using the savings made in building one to fund the work on the next.

Those savings can be considerable with an LED system with controls having the ability to reduce bills by up to 70%. The use of solar power is becoming popular but the systems need either south, east, or west facing roof space.

Powercor advises schools on the use of building management systems (BMS) and how they can work with the weather to intelligently manage energy usage. The system uses thermometers outside the building to ensure that heating is moderated in line with the weather conditions.

The use of photo-voltaic and LED lighting is making a tangible difference to schools and their energy footprints and Powercor has been working hard to engage with ever more schools and colleges to support their efforts to make large bills more manageable and sustainable.

Most schools are now facing energy costs which are at a point where serious decisions are having to be made as to where the additional money will come from. Some have signed a multi-year contract in the past and in the months of years ahead will be faced with a shock to the budget when they look to renew.

Powercor is happy to offer free advice to schools and colleges looking at how they can tackle their energy crisis and needing clear and honest advice on the options available to them.

Powercor prides itself on ensuring that the information provided is genuine and clear. Powercor has built a reputation for quality work with schools and that extends not only to working to create sustainable and cost-efficient energy systems but also the work being undertaking with SATRO via Powercor’s “Energycation” initiative to engage, encourage and develop the STEM experts of the future.

Powercor has a long-term commitment to support the education sector and is always keen to engage with schools looking to embark on their energy saving journey. As has been proven repeatedly, Powercor can make a real difference.

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