Council school decarbonisation project saves thousands in cash and carbon

Reading schools are set to save hundreds of thousands of pounds in soaring energy costs next year and more than 2,584 tonnes of carbon for years to come, thanks to a successful school decarbonisation project led by the council.

Six double glazing projects, three roof insulations, six LED lighting schemes and 20 solar PV projects have been delivered across 22 sites as a result of the initiative which was completed this Autumn.

The roof insulations and window improvements will help to reduce heat loss in the airy school buildings, with heat retained and fewer draughts making for a more comfortable classroom environment for pupils.

It is estimated the work will save over £150K across the 22 sites this year. With soaring energy prices, it is predicted to save over almost £220k across the Reading schools next year.

Importantly from a climate perspective, the programme represents a significant investment in the current and future energy performance of the schools estate, saving an estimated 2,584 tonnes of carbon over the lifetime of the products.

The 22 sites which benefitted are:

  • Alfred Sutton, Primary Solar PV System
  • Blagdon Nursery, LED Lighting Replacement and Solar PV System
  • Blagrave Nursery, Solar PV System
  • Caversham Primary, LED Lighting Replacement and Solar PV System
  • Caversham Park Primary, LED Lighting Replacement and Solar PV System
  • Coley Primary, Double Glazed Windows and Solar PV System
  • Emmer Green Primary, Flat Roof Insulation and Solar PV System
  • EP Collier Primary, Double Glazed Windows
  • Geoffrey Field Infants, Solar PV System
  • Holy Brook Primary, Solar PV System
  • Manor Primary, Solar PV System
  • Micklands Primary LED, Lighting Replacement and Solar PV System
  • Moorlands Primary, Double Glazed Windows and Solar PV System
  • Norcot Nursery LED Lighting Replacement and Solar PV System
  • Redlands Primary, LED Lighting Replacement
  • Southcote Primary, Solar PV System
  • St Michaels Primary, Solar PV System
  • Thameside Primary, Double Glazed Windows and Solar PV System
  • The Hill Primary, Double Glazed Windows, Flat Roof Insulation and Solar PV System
  • The Ridgeway Primary, Solar PV System
  • Whitley Park Primary, Flat Roof Insulation and Solar PV System
  • 1 Dunsfold Road (Stepping Stones Nursery) Double Glazed Windows and Solar PV System

The work is a pre cursor of more work to decarbonise Reading schools more fully in the future, reducing heat loss, electricity consumption and generating renewable electricity to pave the way to switch from fossil fuel gas boilers and towards renewable heat sources like heat pumps.

The project feeds into the Council’s commitment to drive Reading towards net zero carbon by 2030.

Funding for the school decarbonisation project came from the Council’s own Education Capital Grant alongside £1.4 million of funding from the Government's Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme (PSDS). The PSDS funding is administered by Salix Finance on behalf of the Government’s Department for Business Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS). The work was delivered by the Council’s Property & Assets Education Development team with support from Hampshire County Council Property Services, as part of the two authorities’ long-established property partnership arrangements.