Schools across England are wasting more than £326 million each year on inefficient lighting.
This means they are also generating more than 572,000 tonnes of unnecessary carbon dioxide emissions annually, according to eEnergy Group’s analysis.
The company says many state schools and academies are tied down by procurement rules preventing them from signing finance leases, which are one way to upgrade to more energy-efficient equipment – it says these rules must change to allow private sector funding of energy efficiency projects such as installing LED Lighting.
Only a fifth of state schools have switched to LED lighting so far – those that haven’t are currently losing more than £18,500 per annum on average.
eEnergy Group highlights lighting accounts for more than half of the average school’s electricity bill, making it an area of significant potential with regards to the education sector working towards net zero.
Harvey Sinclair, CEO, eEnergy Group plc, said: “The idea of making all schools more energy-efficient to save money is a no brainer. However, the £1 billion of grants announced by the Chancellor to make public sector buildings more energy-efficient isn’t going to make much of an impact. Even if all the money went to schools, it would mean as little as £45,000 per school. To replace the old inefficient lighting at an average secondary school alone costs £150,000.
“We want the UK Government to cut red tape so schools can more easily work with companies such as eEnergy. We think procurement rules should be updated to recognise new funding initiatives such as ‘Light as a Service’, which have a clear financial and environmental benefit. We can deliver energy efficiency improvements at scale without the need for schools to dip into their budgets. The savings pay for everything. As well as cutting carbon, it would free up cash from stretched school budgets as well as creating thousands of jobs for contractors across the UK.”