Action on Carbon and Energy in Schools (ACES)


Have a question about energy efficiency for your school? Check out our FAQs below.

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If you have a question that isn’t covered here, please do contact us through our Help Desk.

Where do I even start reducing energy and carbon; what’s the first step?

The first step is to determine how much energy the school uses. This is usually electricity and gas (or oil). As energy costs change, the most useful measurement of use is kilowatt hours (kWh). The next step is to look for wasted energy. A good start is checking what can be switched off when the school is not in use.

What actions generally save the most energy?  What solutions have the shortest payback on investment?

The most savings tend to come from improving energy use in items used a lot of the time, such as lights, computers, and heating (in colder months). Actions without a cost and are relatively easy to take make for a good focus, such as improving control settings and having staff and students report when they see energy being wasted. We will cover a wide range of energy actions through our events and resources or you can ask us a question here.

What funding is there?

Some funding is available through Salix Finance, both for Councils and academies. Some measures can also be funded through school maintenance.  Prioritising and coordinating funding applications is important for success.  We will be providing more information on this topic at ACES progresses.

What if my school has already had an energy assessment?

There will be fewer free energy assessments available than schools who want them. ACES will work with our partners to help ensure these are provided as fairly as possible.  Anyone with a previous energy assessment from 2018 or more recently can arrange a one-to-one session with our experts to discuss progress and develop new actions that were not in the original report.

How much budget is needed for energy efficiency measure at a school?

There are two urgent energy goals in the UK’s response to climate change: to reduce energy wastage and to decarbonise the use of fossil fuels. Many measures to meet these goals will have a cost, though maintaining a business as usual approach will have a cost too. Unfortunately, decarbonising heating systems and some efficiency actions can have high initial costs, though we are seeing payback periods reduce as gas and electricity prices rise. We will be working with partners to make use of available funding to support measures in schools.

Is ACES just for Oxfordshire County maintained schools?

No, other schools including Academies can access our services. However, some of the limited funded services might only be available for County maintained schools. Please get in touch with us to discuss your needs.

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