FAQs - Schools, Colleges and University Energy Saving Projects

Information on energy efficiency projects for schools, colleges and universities.

Older buildings tend to be less energy efficient by design. They were built based on the information and systems available at the time including building materials, glazing, heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) and insulation. Air conditioning upgrades could be made to replace faulty or malfunctioning systems or as part of a wider energy efficiency improvement initiative. Air conditioners with an installed and operational life of 5 years or more could be costing up to 30% more to run than a more modern air conditioning system.

School buildings with sufficient roof space can benefit from solar PV installations. The electricity generated can be used within the school (or college or university) or exported to the grid to generated feed-in-tariffs. Solar PV installations can also be coupled with local energy storage solutions allowing the school facility to provide a source of uninterruptible power should the mains power supply fail. Solar PV installations also have an educational benefit in school and college environments helping to demonstrate renewable power to students.

Energy management systems collate and report on energy consumption throughout a building using metering at specific points of usage. This information can be reported on a network and an energy management dashboard display such as a large TV screen in a reception or canteen or some other area of the school or college. The information may also be used as part of a course and ultimately helps to visibly shown students, teaching and other relevant staff the total amount of energy being used and reported against specific key performance indicators (KPIs).

An energy manager is responsible for the overall energy usage and efficiency within a building environment. Their role is to monitor and analyse energy consumption, drive initiatives and implement the changes necessary to achieve an organisation’s energy objectives. Renewable Energy Supplies has worked with energy managers in universities to improve energy efficiency within specific departments and facilities such as a datacentre. For one particular project a 50% improvement in energy efficiency was reported following a server upgrade and replacement of a traditional transformer-based UPS by a modular transformerless uninterruptible power supply.

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