Bright Spark Energy are excited to announce that we have become a CHAS accredited contractor.
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As part of The White Horse Federations investment in Solar PV, Bright Spark Energy were appointed to install solar panels at 10 of their schools. By working together, we have combated rising energy costs and made these schools more energy efficient.
The White Horse Federation is a forward-thinking, high-performing multi-academy trust comprised of 32 schools and academies across South West England.
At Bright Spark Energy we make installing Solar PV and LED Lighting in Schools and Academies easy. We have managed and/or delivered over 150 projects in schools with the following benefits:
Saving money instantly
Improving teaching and learning environments
Reducing the schools impact on the environment
Using green technologies as a tool for learning
All of this is possible with no capital cost using a range of unique social enterprise funding options.
Thinking holistically to reduce rising energy costs
Energy prices are rising at over 10% per annum. In order to reduce the impact of this, it is important to think holistically by investing in the right set of technologies, we can make your school more sustainable over the next 20 years ….
Please get in contact to find out how we can help your school in 2019.
Marlborough Primary School is part of the REAch South Academy Trust. The Primary School is based in the heart of Plymouth and is in an old granite building that has proven hard to heat and light effectively resulting in large energy bills.
Bright Spark Energy were asked to design a solution that not only reduced the energy consumption of the buildings but also to improve lighting quality. We were asked to provide a Solar PV system in conjunction with an LED Lighting project to reduce the reliance on grid bought electricity. The School was using 69,500 kWhs per annum for Electricity paying a high electricity rate.
Solar PV System – reducing the energy from the grid.
We proposed and installed a 49.8KWp Solar PV System at Marlborough Primary School subsidised by a Social Enterprise operating rental with no upfront cost to the School.
Using the standard MCS yield calculator we calculated the following yields for the installation.
Performance 12 months on
We have been tracking the performance of the Solar PV system as the O&M partner to the social enterprise funder using the Meter Online enabled Solar PV Meter– in the past 12 months the system has worked well and outperformed our initial expectations.
Yield (kWhs) 49,950 . 52,667.8
Export (kWhs) 7,492 27.3
Electricity Saving (£) 5,094.90 6,320.14
FITs Income (£) 2,157.84 2,275.25
Export Income (£) 367.88 0
The School has consumed almost all of the Solar PV generated maximising self-consumption and increasing the savings generated to be re-invested back in to Teaching and Learning.
After paying the operating rental quarterly in arrears the Primary School will generation a net saving of £ 3,100.01 to invest back into the social mission of the fund – to further the educational outcomes of disadvantaged children.
Customer Contact Details:
Ian Carnwell – Director of the Learning Environment
Web: www.reachsouth.org |
Becoming more environmentally sustainable is becoming increasingly more important from a financial perspective as well as the right thing to do says Mark Stevenson, Director at Bright Spark Energy.
Being more energy conscious will not only help you to save your hard-earned money, but will reduce your carbon footprint, helping to save the planet one ‘switch’ at a time. This is achievable by making a number of small changes to your daily life.
As energy experts here at Bright Spark, we offer some suggestions for how schools can not only cut their energy bills but also make a profit in the process...
School budgets are on everyone’s minds. With budgets being squeezed, the pressure to find solutions that can help schools save money and reduce the pressure on school leaders and teachers grows. Small, proactive changes can actually be a great way for schools to save money, while larger investments can be a vital part of a longer-term sustainability strategy.
Here I explore some important environmental changes, big and small, that schools can look at implementing, including how they would work within schools, the benefits that they bring and the different funding and providers that are available to assist schools with larger investments.
The smaller changes
Schools are often very environmentally conscious, especially when it comes to things such as green spaces and encouraging children to explore and respect the nature around them. Small changes made every day in the classroom can quickly add up and result in real savings. For example, if teachers turn off the lights, PCs and projectors in their classroom between lessons and at the end of the day, this can save a substantial amount of money! This small action can be turned into an activity for the classroom, too. Pupils could be assigned the role of ‘light marshalls’ who have the responsibility to turn the lights off when classrooms are not used. Another option is to get pupils to monitor the classroom temperature as part of a lesson, enabling children to learn about science, finances and responsibility while also saving the school money! Turning down the temperature in the classrooms a few degrees will save a lot over a long winter.
Another investment would be LED Lighting. LED Lighting is often labelled ‘the future of lighting’, due to the very little energy it uses and its ability to last a very long time, not to mention the positive impact to the quality of teaching and learning spaces. LED lighting uses up to 75% less energy and lasts up to 10x longer than traditional types of lighting. Switching the lighting has obvious benefits, funding models are available so there is upfront capital cost and it has the potential for long-term financial savings.
For schools that are thinking long-term, larger investments such as switching to renewable energy options can save the school money while also providing other substantial benefits to the environment and the classroom!
Solar Photovolatics, also known as Solar PV for short, is a piece of technology that features heavily in our lives, with homes as well as businesses and schools using solar PV to heat their home. It has been often been viewed as an alternative to traditional methods like fossil fuels. In its simplest terms, it is a technology that allows for daylight to be converted into electrical power.
The Government highlighted within a 2012 report the benefits that Solar PV can provide, including the ability to reduce Co2 emissions, reduce electricity bills and generate a financial surplus for schools once they have installed Solar PV systems.
One school that we worked closely with, Beccles Primary Academy, actually managed to use their solar energy to power lunches! The Academy upgraded their kitchens to use Electric ovens and the electricity bills soared. Our team designed a Solar installation to be the most efficient when the ovens were on, so the Solar is cooking the school dinners at the moment. Installed in November, it has been estimated that the solar power will generate 53% of the Academies’ electricity requirements onsite, reducing their reliance on grid bought electricity.
It’s all well and good speaking about long-term investments, such as switching to solar panel energy, but if schools are aiming to cut back on expenditure, it can be difficult to find the initial investment despite the obvious benefits it could bring.
However, there are funding options available that aim to help schools invest in renewable energy, while also protecting their finances and providing long-term protection against faulty or damaged equipment. For example, Bright Sparks funding partner, Less Is More Capital provides schools with funding in order to generate a surplus, which can then be reinvested back into learning.
The funding scheme estimates that for every £1 that is put into schools’ renewable energy options it will generate £3-4 from renewable energy innovations that can then be reinvested back into the schools, for example to provide new materials for learners.
Funding such as this often comes with better warranty timescales, with the Less Is More Capital and its partners offering warranty for 13 years, providing security should the equipment be faulty or get damaged. Other organisations tend to skim on warranties, which could then leave schools with little option but to either spend additional money to replace damages or use faulty equipment.
Small everyday steps can help schools to cut back on their expenditure and when used creatively they can be integrated into fun, educational activities for the classroom. Although the larger, longer term investments such as Solar PV may be costly to begin with, they can also bring great benefits to the school, to the bank balance and to the environment. Finally, it is important to remember that there is funding available for schools to ease this process, providing them with valuable financial security is important so that schools can reap the financial and environmental benefits for a very long time.
Cooking lunches using the power of the sun at Beccles Primary Academy - Solar PV at no capital cost generating net savings in year 1.
Sir Martin Frobisher Academy benefitting from reducing their electricity bills by installing Solar PV.
Combining Solar PV and LED at Northfields Academy to save money and improve teaching and learning environments
Installing 117 Solar Panels at Unity Primary Academy
Installation of a Solar PV System at the High Street Primary Academy on behalf of REAch South Academy Trust.
Solar PV at Goosewell Academy saving over £5,000 per year.
Installing Solar PV at the Globe Academy - The Academy is generating their own electricity from renewable sources and reducing their carbon footprint as well as saving money.