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5 steps the education sector can take to lower energy costs 

21 April 2023

The education sector continues to be under pressure to manage tightening budgets. Expenditure remains high in a post-pandemic world and with increased per-pupil prices across classrooms and lecture halls, energy is a critical cost that needs lowering.  

This is particularly prescient off the back of eye-watering increases during the past 18 months, funnelling money away from enriching education centres through technology, staff and other essential means.  

However, all is not lost. There are several ways in which the education sector can reduce its energy costs and restore a tighter grip on energy expenditure. We’ve outlined five steps you can take to lower your energy bills. 

Understand your energy usage

The first step to saving money on energy is to understand how much energy you're using. An energy audit is a great place to start as will help you find areas where you're wasting energy and recommend ways to improve your energy efficiency. 

Utilising energy management software is one of the most effective means of improving visibility over your usage. Our platform Pulse enables you to view your consumption, meter readings, current market prices and much more, all from one portal. 

Get your price right

Making sure the price you pay for energy is as low as possible is your next step. What sounds simple in theory is more complex in practice, with energy procurement full of potential mistakes. 

Finding the right contract and then developing a stronger relationship with your supplier isn’t something you need to do by yourself. Working with an energy consultant frees you up to focus on more prescient tasks within your organisation. 

And check you've not been overcharged

Mistakes happen, but on invoices and bills, this could mean you’ve been overcharged by thousands of pounds. You can analyse your previous bills through invoice validation and then revenue recovery enables you to get back the funds charged. 

The amounts can be staggering; since we started in 2001 we’ve recovered more than £100 million from when our customers have been overcharged. 

Improve efficiency

A more efficient relationship with energy will mean using less; the cheapest energy will always be the one you don't use. The UK government recognises this, freeing up £500 million of investment to help education centres “provide the best possible learning environments for young people, minimise operating costs and reduce carbon emissions”. 

Whether through government funding, budget spending or improving behaviour, there is a range of options. They include things like energy-efficient lighting, HVAC systems, automatic doors and solar panels. Energy-efficient equipment can save money on energy costs over the long term, even with upfront investment. 

Start the transition to net zero early

With the 2050 net zero target becoming a more realistic proposition, starting the transition early enables you to future-proof your organisation and start the process early. It’s also full of cost-saving opportunities. 

Renewable energy sources can help to reduce an organization's reliance on fossil fuels, which can save money on energy costs overall. Renewable sources can be cheaper and they also have stronger energy security, less likely to be impacted by geo-political issues such as the war in Ukraine.  

Exploring the possibility of generating your energy is also worthwhile as it enables much stronger energy independence. You’ll be less reliant on the grid and less vulnerable to price fluctuations, plus you can generate a profit if you sell excess energy back. 

Finally, they’re also tremendous educational opportunities. Self-generated renewable energy allows your students to be involved with the sustainability drive, either as part of core curriculums or more general environment-enhancing. 



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