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CHAS Accredited Contractor

CHAS Accredited Contractor

Bright Spark Energy are excited to announce that we have become a CHAS accredited contractor.

Southwold School - Installing Solar Panels to Save Carbon

Southwold School - Installing Solar Panels to Save Carbon

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.

WEEE Scheme Recolight Member ...

WEEE Scheme Recolight Member ...

Bright Spark Energy is very proud and excited to share with our customers that we have become part of the WEEE Scheme Recolight !

This scheme offers FREE RECYCLING for all LIGHTING in scope of the WEEE regulations.

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Recolight is a WEEE producer compliance scheme, set up by the lighting industry in 2005 to prepare for the WEEE regulations that were enforced in the UK in 2007.

Recolight operate across the UK providing WEEE compliance to the lighting industry and a FREE recycling service for business end users. The non-profit WEEE Compliance Scheme helps to set the WEEE standard. For end users like ourselves, collecting 1000+ lamps each quarter, they offer a FREE container, FREE collections & FREE recycling. For smaller quantities they have a UK network of collection points - these can be found on their website.

To date, Recolight has recycled more WEEE lighting than all UK compliance schemes combined, making us very proud to be a part of this thriving scheme.

As a Renewable Energy and Electrical company, we are very serious about our environmental responsibilities. That is why becoming a Recolight member is so important to us. We know as a member that not only are we meeting our obligations under the WEEE Regulations but we are also becoming part of a scheme that is saving costs, increasing awareness and raising recycling rates.

www.recolight.co.uk

www.brightspark.energy

Solar PV Installation at Felpham Community Hall and Conference Centre.

Solar PV Installation at Felpham Community Hall and Conference Centre.

Our Arundel based Solar PV team have just completed the installation of a 15.6 KWp Solar PV system at Felpham Community Hall and Conference Centre. The Community Centre is located amongst the new Blake’s Mead Estate, on Meaden Way, Felpham, West Sussex and providing a really valuable community resource.

Nest Pro Installer

Nest Pro Installer

Nest Pros are independent contractors who have access to exclusive training and tools for Nest products, so they can help you evaluate the needs of your home and your family and get the most out of your installation

Feed-in Tariff closing April 2019.

Feed-in Tariff closing April 2019.

Are you considering installing Solar Panels in your home, business or school?

If so, with only 6 months left before the Feed-in Tariff ends, it may be worth considering sooner rather than later. Right now, the Feed-in Tariff currently pays you for the electricity your system sends back to the grid for upto 20 years.

FITs In Summary

The Feed-in Tariffs (FITs) scheme is a UK Government scheme designed to encourage uptake of a range of small-scale renewable and low-carbon electricity generation technologies.

Under FITs, you could be paid for the electricity you generate if you install or have installed an eligible system like solar PV, a wind or hydro turbine, or micro CHP.

The UK Government's Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) makes the policy decisions about the FITs scheme and are the relevant contact for queries about legislation.

The energy regulator Ofgem E-Serve administers the scheme.

Certain energy suppliers (also known as FITs licensees) handle FITs scheme applications and will make the FITs payments. The large energy suppliers are required by law to be FITs Licensees; smaller suppliers are not required by law to do this but many have opted to offer this service anyway. Visit Ofgem for a list of FITs Licensees.

Please note that the information on this page is not an exhaustive list of all the criteria of the Feed-In Tariffs scheme.

How much could I receive through FITs?

If you are eligible to receive FITs payments you will benefit in three ways:

  • Generation tariff: your energy supplier will pay you a set rate for each unit (or kWh) of electricity you generate. Once your system has been registered, the tariff levels are guaranteed for the period of the tariff (up to 20 years) and are index-linked.
  • Export tariff: your energy supplier will pay you a further rate for each unit you export back to the electricity grid, so you can sell any electricity you generate but don't use yourself. At some stage smart meters will be installed to measure what you export, but until then it is estimated as being 50 per cent (75 per cent for hydro) of the electricity you generate (only systems above 30kWp need to have an export meter fitted, and a domestic system is unlikely to be that big).
  • Energy bill savings: you will be making savings on your electricity bills because generating electricity to power your appliances means you don’t have to buy as much electricity from your energy supplier. The amount you save will vary depending how much of the electricity you use on site. Visit our Renewable electricity pages.

Article from the Energy Saving Trust Website

Get in contact with us today for more information on how we can help you save money, save energy and save carbon!

E - info@brightspark.energy

W - www.brightspark.energy

T - @BrightSparkEn

Project Farmhouse - Blog 1 - Introduction

Project Farmhouse - Blog 1 - Introduction

The first blog post in our series about our Farmhouse Project, working with our customers to make a Grade II listed building into a comfortable and modern family home.

Marlborough Primary School - Solar PV Installation 2018

Marlborough Primary School - Solar PV Installation 2018

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.

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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. 

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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. 

Expected Actual

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  |

Twitter: @ReachSouth1

Cutting energy costs - is renewable energy the answer?

Cutting energy costs - is renewable energy the answer?

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. 

We are progressing, evolving and expanding!

We are progressing, evolving and expanding!

The Bright Spark Energy Eco-Barn is progressing, the Bright Spark Energy team is expanding, and the Bright Spark Energy company is evolving!

We are extremely excited to tell you that, Bright Spark is branching out into Electrical Services!

Bright Sparks Eco Barn Progress ...

Bright Sparks Eco Barn Progress ...

The Bright Spark team have been working extremely hard over the last few weeks converting our very own HQ and Eco Barn just outside of Arundel, West Sussex. 

Save Your School Money by Saving Energy!

Save Your School Money by Saving Energy!

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...

New year, new energy plan...?

New year, new energy plan...?

At the start of a new year we all have our resolutions to improve ourselves. But how about resolving to improve our schools’ energy expenditure? Here at Bright Spark Energy we thought we would share some useful guidance for schools – looking at how you can best mitigate against rising energy costs and why saving energy is less complicated than it seems.

It may surprise you to know that the majority of homes, offices and schools in the UK are inefficient; a large number of buildings were constructed in the 70s or earlier and are, therefore, not well-insulated and have an aging built environment. With falling capital improvement budgets comes a greater need than ever for investment in green technologies. The education sector needs to become more sustainable in the long-term, opening up the opportunity to reinvest the savings made from energy projects back into teaching and learning.

Some ways that schools can make 2018 their greenest year yet

Know your provider

There are innumerable options for energy providers and, with limited time and resources, it’s not always easy to determine the one that’s best suited for your school. Rushing into a contract without reading all of the small print can lead to some costly blunders. For example, some providers may ask schools to buy equipment outright with a very short warranty on LED lighting – i.e. under 10 years. This would mean that, if the LED lighting were to break, it could leave school leaders with the unsatisfactory option of buying brand new – and potentially expensive – replacements.

Other suppliers might sign schools into leasing deals that don’t meet DfE guidelines – for example, ‘rent-a-roof’ or ‘shared saving’ schemes that never deliver what was promised.

Change to LED lights

Lighting is the biggest cost to running buildings and most schools still use fluorescent lights which were advertised as energy-saving when they were introduced, but are now considered wasteful.

LED luminaires are known to be up to 80% more efficient, have a longer life (up to 50,000 hours), better light quality and lower maintenance requirements and heat output. Switching to LED lights can lead to energy savings of around 70%, while estimates of savings when switching outdoor lights, like those on sporting grounds or in parking lots, can be around 75%.

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Control your heating

It is true that turning down your heating by one degree will save you money but, in order to make a bigger impact and not risk freezing your pupils, we would advise that you invest in an intelligent heating system that allows you to split the school into zones and heat these only when needed, rather than the typical ‘on all the time’ or ‘twice–a-day, everyday’, schedules which most schools abide by. This kind of upgrade not only leads to long-term savings on energy, but also provides improved the comfort indoors – a welcome feeling in these chilly months.

Get everyone involved

We know that students can often be the most enthusiastic adopters of social campaigns and that’s why we suggest that you turn this into a school-wide movement. Utilise eye-catching signs and regular announcements to draw attention to wasted energy. Put the power in the hands of staff and students to improve efficiency and allow them to do their part to express environmental consciousness; you might be surprised how much energy can be saved when your students proactively turn out the lights!

Go solar

Solar Photovoltaics, or Solar PV for short, is technology that many within the UK have become accustomed to as a renewable energy resource. In its simplest terms, it is a technology that converts daylight into electrical power, which can then be used to light (and in some cases heat) a building, saving costs on grid-purchased energy.

In 2014, the government produced a report discussing the benefits of Solar PV including the ability to reduce electricity bills, reduce CO2 emissions, generate surplus for schools and create opportunities for sustainability education for students.

The New Year is the perfect time to re-evaluate your school’s energy usage and determine whether a change in energy contracts, or new lighting or renewable technologies, could save you money in the long-term.

Don’t forget to follow us on Twitter, like us on Facebook, or connect with us on LinkedIn!

Cutting back on the budget - is renewable energy the answer?

Cutting back on the budget - is renewable energy the answer?

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.  

Larger investments

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. 

Funding options

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. 

Final thoughts

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.