Schools are one of the biggest users of energy in the District. In the UK, schools could save around £70 million per year by reducing their energy costs. This would also reduce CO2 emissions by up to 300,000 tonnes.
The Council's Environment & Climate Change Unit are working with schools to identify ways schools can reduce their energy use. By the end of the academic year 2010-11 all schools in Bradford will have received an energy audit visit.
Schools can save energy by using controls on heating and air conditioning correctly, improving insulation, turning off IT equipment, lighting and office equipment when not being used.
Adapting schools to climate change
As the effects of climate change begin to become more noticeable we need to ensure that our schools have made changes to their buildings and grounds that will allow the school to continue to operate in more extreme weather conditions. For example, we need to plant trees to provide screening from the sun on south and west facing sides of the schools to reduce solar gain and minimise the use of expensive air conditioning systems. We need to collect the increased rainfall in the winter to reduce localised flooding from excessive run off and to ensure there is enough water in the summer for watering plants and we will look at using rain water for flushing toilets and other non potable uses.
Renewable Technology in Schools
Schools are becoming more aware of climate change and some schools have started to generate their own energy using solar panels and wind turbines. It can be a big investment for schools but has the benefits of reducing fuel costs and have educational benefits to the pupils.
Contact the Environment & Climate Change Unit for more advice and guidance for schools
Does your School want Micro Generation?
Bradford Council are aware that the government is committed to reducing carbon emissions through the adoption of renewable energy sources and supports the uptake of micro generation technologies which will help meet the UK’s renewable energy targets.
Currently there is no national arrangement in place to procure micro technologies: therefore, with the support of Yorkshire Purchasing Organisation, Bradford Council is looking to undertake a procurement exercise to set up a framework for its supply, installation and maintenance.
There are a number of technologies available such as Solar PV, Wind turbines, Biomass and Heat pumps.
The issues and risks that need to be considered are:
- Planning permission for installation of solar PV
- Lack of funding to cover the initial costs i.e. cost of the equipment etc
- Is the property suitable for any of these technologies and is it expected to be in existence in the next 25 years?
The procurement process has already started and is inviting interested suppliers to submit pre qualification questionnaires in order that an evaluation process can then determine suitability.
We are proposing that contracts would be awarded early August 2011. We are aware of the Government legislation regarding the availability of feed in tariffs and we are eager that contracts are in place as quickly as possible to ensure best benefit.
How does this effect Schools
To support the schools, and in addition to the normal procurement rules, we will recommend schools use the suppliers identified in the procurement exercise for any micro generation technologies. This demonstrates the schools have shown responsibility for identifying “best value” under the financial regulations.
Who’s out there?
We have already been approached by companies who have offered the following:
- 25 year contracts and “free solar panels” ( the building occupier pays the contactor for power supplied by the panels)
- Free solar panels and energy on a “ roof rent agreement” ( the contractor supplies the panels free and pay the building occupier for rental of the roof. The building occupier gets free power from the panels)
- Solar panels purchased by building occupier ( large initial outlay, free supply from panels plus payment on FIT’s)
It is clear from the responses already received that there are companies who can offer a variety of schemes which would benefit many of our properties.
The next step
Please contact Lee Ann Sagar at the Environment and Climate Change Unit on 01274 432229 to register your interest as a School who is interested in this type of technology.