How one academy trust approached their energy management


In the second half of 2021 wholesale energy prices skyrocketed with an average electricity increase to this academy Trust’s academies of 113.85% (based on previous consumption) for the period 31/08/21-01/08/22, at an additional cost of £2.272m across the entire Trust. Wholesale gas prices have increased by c.400%, however, the trust had secured contract rates are until August 2022 and therefore a much smaller regulatory uplift has been applied for the period up to August 2022, at a cost of c.£55k across the Trust. 


To mitigate the impact on academies, the Trust selected one of its academies to act as a pilot site and undertake a series of actions with the intention of reducing both operational and base line consumption. Operational consumption is classed as day-to-day use including lighting, PCs, projectors, air conditioning, boilers. Base-line consumption is classed as overnight and 24/7 usage such as server rooms, fridges, CCTV.

The Facilities Manager at the academy acted as Energy Champion and worked with the Trust’s Regional Estates Manager, in implementing actions.

This initial study focuses on electricity data, however, measures to reduce gas consumption were also implemented.


During the 30 days of November 2021 the pilot academy consumed a daily range of between 900 and 1,000 units of electricity. Using the mitigation methods contained within the Energy Reduction Checklist, consumption decreased in January 2022 to a daily range of between 450 and 550 units, approximately 50%.

For the pilot academy a 50% consumption reduction will result in an annual electricity cost saving of approximately £21,000.

As a result of the energy saving audit the pilot academy was selected for an upgrade of all light fittings to LED. This work took place during summer 2022 and it is anticipated a further saving of 20% will be achieved on their overall electricity consumption.

LED Lighting Upgrade

Key Findings

  • Whole school engagement is crucial in maximizing outcomes.
  • Appointing an Energy Champion to drive actions is key to success.
  • The pilot academy found some mechanical items running when they should not. A full check of operation against control settings is essential.
  • Lighting is one of the largest consumers of electricity. Turning on lights only as needed in the morning and classrooms off when not in use was a major contributing factor.
schools energy support


Example Energy Reduction Checklist

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Energy Reduction Checklist and Case Study