New analysis from the Energy Efficiency Financing (EEF) scheme has revealed that the education sector is overspending on energy to the tune of over £173 million per year. The analysis, based on official sources and proprietary EEF data, examined a number of sectors to calculate the amount that they were overpaying on their energy bills because of inefficient technology, equipment and controls.
The EEF scheme, which provides organisations with finance for the acquisition of energy-efficient and renewable energy equipment, regularly highlights the difficulties that organisations have in allocating budget for energy-efficiency investments. This is especially the case in government-funded schools, which remain under pressure to reduce spending and achieve budget efficiencies.
Darren Riva, head of green financing with the EEF scheme, says: “Our analysis has shown that there is a huge market potential for cost-effective energy savings enabled by green technology in the education sector, amounting to more than £173 million. That potential energy saving covers heating, lighting, cooling and ventilation, amongst others.
“Over the past few years, limited access to affordable finance has been hindering green investments. That is why EEF was created – a joint financing initiative between the Carbon Trust and Siemens – to make finance more accessible and affordable. The EEF scheme matches monthly payments to real monthly energy cost savings, which means that organisations effectively end up paying no extra for their new equipment investment. These investments improve organisational efficiency, cut carbon and boost the green growth.”
Myles McCarthy, managing director of Carbon Trust Implementation Services, said: “The EEF research figure demonstrates the huge opportunity the education sector has to save energy and cost. Schools who are using energy efficiently can therefore expect to reap huge benefits. We are already seeing increasing demand amongst schools for us to help them get to grips with energy efficiency and capture the associated cost savings.”
To help schools raise finance for green investments, the EEF scheme covers a range of technologies including solar photovoltaic panels, low-energy lighting and biomass heating, amongst others. Any school is able to apply for new green growth finance from the scheme, which is designed to match monthly payments with the equivalent savings from lower energy consumption/or income from energy generation. The Carbon Trust will then apply its expertise in carbon saving from energy-efficient technologies to provide an assessment of the carbon, energy and cost savings of any application for finance. Siemens Financial Services Limited in the UK provides the financial backing and manages the provision of funding.
Any school wishing to apply to the scheme to finance the implementation of energy-efficient and renewable technologies, or any equipment supplier wishing to offer the scheme to its customers, should visit the EEF website.