The photovoltaic panels were installed in March this year under the Eco-Schools "Free Power for Schools" project and they have already generated 13,916kwh, reducing our electricity cost by £1,392, which is not too bad considering the summer we have had.
By law we, like any pupil building have to display an Energy Certificate. A typical energy rating for a building this size and age is considered to between a D and E rating, giving a comparative energy efficiency of 100, We have managed to reduce our energy rating down 2% to a efficiency of 79 over the last year, this is very pleasing as it was the first full year with our new food technology room in operation. Our aim is to lower it by a further 5% to give us into a C band rating.
Academy status has allowed us to seek assisted funding Government for high priority projects, this year we were successful in receiving funds for our roof refurbishment. The increased insulation will greatly improve the retention of heat in the building and halt the seepage of water we are currently encountering. This together with the possibility of installing suspended ceilings and energy efficacy lighting in the classrooms will reduce our carbon footprint for future years with the added benefit of reducing our energy bills. Last year our electric cost were £31k and Gas £19.5k, so every little helps.
It has been an ambition since I start at The Crypt to introduce alternative energy; slowly everyone is buying in. The pupils are very keen and enthusiastic, working with and for the Eco school award; they can foresee the benefits not just for the school but also for the environment. However it is a very tight line balancing budgets with curriculum and sustainable needs. Projects such as these require high investment and show no instant return. We are extremely grateful in having the opportunity to sign up to Free Solar for Schools initiative, we would like to extended it further once the roof is completed, it is a perfect location to house another 228 panels, but unfortunately with the Government reducing the feed-in tariff subsidy for solar panels it is not so attractive for outside investment and we don’t have the budget to undertake this fully ourselves at present. All we can do is hope the Government will devise other ways to support