School savings


An annual energy saving of around £20,000 is expected as a result of the extensive installation at the LIFE Academies Trust-operated school.

In Central Bedfordshire, Biggleswade Academy accommodates children aged from 2 to 13. The technical team at the Academy, led by facilities manager Chris Mooney, had to ensure its technical infrastructure remains both contemporary and fit for purpose. And it was with these priorities in mind that the school recently resolved to undertake an extensive overhaul of its lighting and heating control technologies.

The problems facing the team across all three of the Academy’s sites – the Reception and Key Stage One, Key Stage Two and Three and pre-schools – were not exactly unfamiliar in the education sector. First and foremost, the existing and rather aged fluorescent-based lighting systems had been performing poorly for some time and were therefore subject to frequent failures. Inevitably, this had cost implications both in terms of replacements and the associated labour. But the usage of heating systems was also of growing concern, with some components performing inadequately and a lack of consistency to the control infrastructure.

The facilities team investigated various options during the search for a project supplier, ultimately inviting Energys Group and three other companies to undertake energy savings and submit quotations. The decision was made in favour of Energys Group for reasons of technical expertise, cost-efficiency and knowledge of the Salix funding scheme that was to be used to finance the project.

With the project due to take place during term time, Energys Group undertook all the work out of school hours, specifically from 1600-0400. Hence the impact on daily activities was “minimal throughout the two-month period of installation,” said Mooney.

The overhauled infrastructure incorporates a variety of products, including LED high bay panels, sensor-linked LED wall lights, IP67-rated TriProof LED lights, down lights, flood lights and self-test emergency lights. Previously lights had generally been activated when the cleaners started work at 5am and remained on all day, so the installation of PIR sensors was an integral element of the scheme in order to reduce the amount of time lighting is left on unnecessarily. Meanwhile, boiler optimisers were fitted to improve the efficiency of the boilers without affecting building temperature.