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Manchester Environmental Education Network

Schools Energy Efficiency Pilot (SEEP)

How best can primary schools reduce their energy use?  How much energy can schools save? 

MEEN was awarded funding by Manchester City Council's Carbon Innovation Fund to create a project involving the Council's Energy Management Unit (EMU) and three primary schools: Armitage, Aspinal and Claremont. The schools would benefit from physical energy efficiency measures, put in place by EMU, and have support from MEEN to take steps to change the behaviour of children and staff. The intent was also to spread learning to members of the local community. 

The school communities worked hard to embed behaviour change: the Eco teams led the way, with a brilliant array of staff, including catering and site managers, TAs, teachers and heads, supporting the project. For example, the Armitage Draught Squad (ADS) did practical work by fixing those draughty doors and windows; in Aspinal the Energy Enforcers shared their learning about Climate Change with their parents at an after-school club; whilst Claremont's Eco monitors attended the first Climate Change conference in Manchester impressing the delegates, including the Council leader, who thought their contribution was the most inspiring part of the day.

To see them in action watch this film:

Practically the three schools represent different building types and levels of energy use, consequently they needed to have different energy saving measures installed, creating a variety of results.

Armitage Primary School: This single one-storey building built in the 1960s using lightweight construction techniques uses less energy than the average school. However, having T5 lighting installed improved their light levels and, along with behaviour change, cut electricity consumption by 12%, a projected saving of ?1424 per year, representing a payback period of eight years.

Furthermore, there will be a projected carbon saving, year on year, of 4.7 tonnes.

Aspinal Primary School: A traditional redbrick one-storey school uses considerably more energy than average. They needed an investment in roof insulation and T5 lighting. Consequently, their electricity consumption came down by 6%, a saving of ?555 per year, and gas by 25%, a saving of ?1208 per year. More recent data indicates that electricity consumption has fallen further. The payback period for gas is 3 years.

Here there is a carbon saving of 10.5 tonnes.

Claremont Primary School: Comprises two traditional redbrick two-storey blocks joined by a modern corridor and its energy use is very close to the average.T5 lighting was installed in certain areas with some motion sensors. Their electricity consumption fell by 13%, saving ?2243 year, giving a payback period of eight years.

In Claremont the carbon saving is 11.5 tonnes.

This gave a total carbon saving of 26.7 tonnes and, with investment, a year on year financial saving of ?5430.

If you want to read more about this project MEEN's newsletter, Beehive, had a special edition click here

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