Energy and water advice for schools

Schools can take steps to monitor and manage their use of energy to improve energy efficiency.

Further help;

Review your energy bill

  • Bills are based upon the difference between present and previous meter readings. The type of meter reading is denoted on your bill next to the readings:
    • A = Actual read where the company reads the meter manually themselves
    • C = Customer read where you supply the company with a manual reading you have taken
    • E = Estimated read which the company predicts based on consumption profile
  • If you have been billed based on an estimate, you can provide the supplier with a customer reading for them to reissue the bill
  • We often have to check that meters are working correctly and ensure that sites are being billed accurately. In order for us to do this we may ask for sites to take meter reads, we need sites to know how to accurately take these reads as there are often many different types of meter which can get confusing
  • If your school has any queries regarding your energy bills, please email the Energy Team on

Further help;

Make your school warmer, more efficient, and reduce your energy bills

Quick school energy wins

  • Take a walk round and identify any obvious opportunities to reduce energy use
  • Fit draught-proofing to seal any gaps around windows and doors to stop heat escaping
  • Always turn off the lights and electronic appliances that don’t need to be on
  • Avoid leaving equipment such as computer screens on standby and remember not to leave appliances, such as mobile phones and tablets, on charge unnecessarily
  • Activate sleep modes on equipment where possible
  • Use natural light as much as you can
  • Review your thermostat settings
  • Consider increasing the set point for your air conditioning and keep doors and windows closed when it is running
  • Take regular meter readings and monitor your usage, this can be easier with smart meters

Improving the energy efficiency of your school

  • Involve everyone
  • Motivate staff and pupils through lessons
  • Appoint an energy team
  • Review your energy policy or create one if you don’t have one yet
  • Review all lighting and consider upgrading to a more efficient system
  • Your school could be eligible for help from The Mayor's Climate Change Fund for improvements to the building that demonstrate a reduction of carbon emissions and energy costs

Further help;

Display Energy Certificate

  • All public buildings including schools are legally required to display an up to date Display Energy Certificate (DEC) and possess an Advisory Report
  • A DEC shows the energy performance of a building based on actual energy use
  • Building’s over 1,000m² require a DEC which is valid for 12 months and an Advisory Report which is valid for 7 years
  • Buildings of 250m² - 999m² require a DEC and an Advisory Report which are both valid for 10 years
  • Failure to display a valid Display Energy Certificate (DEC) at all times in a prominent place clearly visible to the public can result in a penalty of £500. In addition, a penalty of £1,000 is payable for failing to have possession of a valid Advisory Report (AR).

Further help;

Extra help with your energy supply

  • 99% of Bedford Borough schools have signed up to the Council's Service Level Agreement which means that schools benefit from being on the Council's energy supply contract and receive a number of other services

Generate your own energy

Renewable energy

  • Every school has the potential to generate its own renewable energy. As most schools have a large roof, solar PV is normally a good option. There are, however, alternatives, such as wind turbines, or for heat generation, biomass boilers or air/ground source heat pumps
  • Your school could be eligible for help from The Mayor's Climate Change Fund for improvements to the building that demonstrate a reduction of carbon emissions and energy costs

Further help;

Water conservation

Quick water conservation wins for your school

  • Check for any damp patches, drips or leaks and get them repaired
  • Fit plugs and bowls into sinks and encourage art staff and students to rinse brushes in containers rather than under a running tap
  • Monitor your water usage by regularly checking the meter
  • Insulate hot water pipes to reduce the time it takes for hot water to reach the taps
  • Add cistern displacement devices to toilets

Improving the water efficiency of your school

  • Create a water action plan with clear and achievable targets
  • Engage with everyone
  • Consider fitting sensor taps with flow restrictors
  • Fit water efficient toilets and urinals
  • Fit urinals with infrared technology so they only flush when needed
  • Lower water use in food preparation
  • Consider changes to the landscaping around the school to improve shade and moisture retention
  • Consider rain harvesting technology

Further help;