Energy Audit: Independent School: Ground and Buildings

Project: Independent Boarding School

Market: Education

Location: Suffolk

The Challenge

This large independent school, set within 200 acres of Suffolk countryside, had a significant dependence on heating oil and had concerns regarding the security of energy costs as well as a strong desire to reduce the School’s carbon footprint.

The school has a unique all-year operation due to the volume of boarding students they accommodate and the range of out-of-term activities and services they offer to external parties. Their energy cost liabilities were significant, with annual electricity costs averaging £250,000 and heating oil around £300,000.

Significant limitations were in place due to the entire site being a listed curtilage.

The Solution

LCA were commissioned to perform an energy audit of the school’s buildings and grounds, to establish potential mitigation measures to replace oil dependency and reduce overall energy costs and reliance on fossil fuels.

Our audit established that almost all the school’s buildings could be heated using ground source heat pumps. Although an existing borewell was available, there was insufficient time to have an extraction license approved for the work. As such, additional land was identified outside of the school grounds, as a possible heat source. The overall oil savings and RHI income provided the school with a return in the region of 10%.

In addition, we identified two areas of land with the potential to support a total of 600kWp of Solar PV panels, offering the school potential electricity savings of circa £1.5m over the next 20years.