The latest data from the Co-op shows that 10 schools across the UK are saving a combined total of over £500,000 on their energy costs by being a part of Co-op Power.
On average Co-op Academies have each saved £50,000 in energy bills over a 2-year period, having benefited from the energy co-operatives buying power, where members buy together for greater value and share electricity from 100 per cent renewable sources.
The significant savings come at a much-needed time, as energy costs continue to rise and continue to be one of schools’ biggest overheads, whilst the uncertainty over the past year with school closures and stretched resources have all had a substantial impact on education budgets.
The £500,000 saving would be equivalent to 3,000 laptops and over 227,000 school meals. Owing to the immediate savings and reduced future costs, the Co-op Academies in Greater Manchester, Leeds, Bradford, Wirral and Stoke-on-Trent have been able to reinvest back into their schools and education.
To further improve energy efficiency and reduce costs, Co-op Power offers advice and help identify anomalies for energy usage on weekends and during school holidays when schools are closed.
David Roberts, Co-op Power Managing Director, said: “Schools’ time and resources are already stretched, by understanding the energy market we can deliver a real difference to the schools and save them time and money which can be reinvested where it counts, in education.
“Buying together helps schools get better value, but we also help them to use less energy. We’ve seen pressure building throughout the entire UK for all businesses and public services to be more environmentally friendly in order to reach Carbon reduction targets, this includes education facilities.”
“More importantly the energy we are providing is ethical. It’s the right thing to do, not only now but for future generations.”
Christopher Tomlinson, Co-op Academies Trust, CEO, said: “It’s great to see that some of our academies have made such a significant saving through Co-op Power. During this time of uncertainty for schools, we’re so pleased that the money saved has gone towards supporting education. We will be looking to get more of our academies on board as soon as possible so that they can start to reap the benefits.”
Jo Whitfield, Co-op Food CEO, said: “We know first-hand that the last year has put extra pressure on schools – not just on the operational side of supporting students through the pandemic, but the crippling, unexpected cost too.
“We hope we can help other trusts find new savings which can be reinvested back into their schools and to support the needs of their students. Part of our vision to co-operate for a fairer world includes a focus on social mobility of young people and ensuring that this is preserved against the odds.”