March - £650k green energy investment saves school money

It’s not often you get something for nothing but that is effectively what has been achieved at the Royal Alexandra and Albert School in Reigate.

Last year the School applied for an interest-free loan from SALIX, the independent company that manages public investment in energy efficiency technologies across the UK public sector. With support from Surrey County Council, a loan of £650,000 was secured to spend on improvements to the heating and lighting systems at the boarding school which is based in 260 acres of parkland at Gatton Park.

The School is already benefiting from the cost-savings that arise from more efficient heating and lighting and they expect to have repaid the loan within four years. Thereafter the savings in energy costs will be ploughed straight back into the school and improving facilities for pupils.

Headmaster, Paul Spencer Ellis comments “Without the interest-free loan we simply would not have been able to obtain the funds to embark on this initiative. This project is good for the school and good for the environment and I am absolutely delighted that we have been able to make this investment.”

The School has seen a reduction in electricity costs (due to more efficient lighting) of 17% and heating costs have reduced by 28%.

Cllr Peter Martin, Cabinet Member for Children and Learning at Surrey County Council adds “I would encourage other schools to follow this example. Completing the application at the start of the process requires an upfront investment of time, but it is well worth the effort in the longer term. The savings for the school can be substantial and there is a clear benefit to the environment with fuel consumption being significantly reduced.”

Staff and pupils at the Royal Alexandra and Albert School have already noticed the difference. Previously the heating had two settings – On and Off. Now the heating system is more responsive and the temperature throughout the school is much more comfortable. Lights only go on when there is someone in the room and they dim if there is strong natural light coming in through the windows.

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