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Richard Brent, Bursar at St Faith's Cambridge

New energy consultancy service launches

Optimal Monitoring's newly launched service aims to help schools increase their energy efficiency across the board

Posted by Stephanie Broad | January 11, 2016 | Sustainability

Working with schools and colleges across the private and state sectors, Optimal Monitoring has already provided energy monitoring software that delivers utility usage data in bespoke, user-friendly reports.

Optimal’s new Energy Efficiency Consultancy Service (EECS) is designed to give bursars and finance staff a helping hand with their utility reduction strategy. Whether this is an item on your ‘to-do’ list or you are looking for the next step, the EECS programme can help set you on the right path. The initial 12-month programme includes a utility audit, strategic assistance and quarterly progress and strategy reviews. At the end of the 12 months, Optimal aims to have identified low and no-cost initiatives which, if implemented, will cover the cost of the service in savings. The company will also jointly produce a business plan for the following 12 months too.

Optimal managing director Duncan Everett explains: “We have engaged with bursars and management teams and taken on board their important feedback. We understand that when it comes to reducing utility spend, many schools and colleges don’t know where to begin. Education establishments often feel they do not have the staff (or hours) to deal with the task of implementing utility change. We need to make sure energy efficiency is not put on the back burner and that opportunities to reduce costs are maximised.”

With challenging education budgets and altered funding, tackling energy costs – a significant and volatile expense – is ever crucial. Optimal’s new consultancy service will provide support and forward planning to help make this a reality.

The Optimal Monitoring team

St Faith’s, an independent preparatory school in Cambridge, has worked with Optimal for more than five years. The school has been so successful at increasing energy efficiency and reducing utility waste it was awarded the Ashden School Award in 2014. Richard Brent, bursar at St Faith’s, says Optimal Monitoring has enabled his school to make smarter decisions about energy consumption and “are very receptive to ideas and easy to engage with for future planning”. In the last academic year alone, St Faith’s electricity usage has reduced by 13 percent and gas by 23 percent. The school’s electricity spend is down 6 percent year on year.

The Leys School in Cambridge, an independent day and boarding school for 11-18-year-olds, is also utilising Optimal’s monitoring software and improving utility management across its site. Paul McKeown, bursar at The Leys, says the school “has seen great results from day one” and “the technical back-up and support received has been second-to-none”. The bursar believes that, by working with Optimal Monitoring, his school can proactively and strategically plan for long-term improvements to achieve reductions in cost and energy usage. “The Optimal team are more than happy to help us or visit us if we require,” he adds. “We have had a great experience with Optimal.”

Duncan Everett concludes: “We know that a fixed approach does not always work across the board. We are offering our education clients a flexible, personal service to suit individual needs with support and advice for practical requirements. Optimal Monitoring’s EECS will make utility planning straightforward and realistic whilst providing education establishments with feasible, achievable budget gains.”

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