Leading multi-disciplinary real estate consultancy Virtus Consult has been appointed to undertake an ‘Energy Cost and Carbon Reduction’ assessment of Cokethorpe School, a leading independent day-school, set in 150 acres of parkland, just outside Oxford.

Given the rising price of energy, there can be little surprise that many organisations are seeking to reduce their costs and their carbon footprint, seeking solutions that are quick, efficient and low risk.

The work will begin with an audit of the site to identify and quantify viable energy cost and carbon reduction opportunities across the School estate, which also sets out the school’s current baseline in terms of energy spend and carbon emissions from buildings, waste and general operations.

Experienced specialists will provide the school with a comprehensive list of potential opportunities for energy cost and carbon reduction improvements on supply and demand side across the estate, looking at energy usage, ways to optimise existing systems, technology improvements and behavioural changes.

Virtus Consult Director Jan Ponsford commented: “Energy costs are a big issue across the education sector and for estates this size, annual savings of around 20 to 25% are not something to be ignored.

“Our ability to identify and deliver savings to organisations of all sizes is attracting a lot of interest in both the public and private sectors. We focus on opportunities that include cost, likely returns, payback, carbon reduction, level of disruption and any ongoing lifecycle costs, which helps clients make better informed choices.

“Although the focus is always cost reduction, when undertaking such an audit and ongoing monitoring in a school, we always try and get the pupils involved, taking them on a journey with demonstrations and talks, with meters placed in public areas to highlight the achievements.

“It is a valuable life lesson for young people to understand how reducing energy consumption makes funds available for other, more valuable purchases, particularly with the Climate Change issue of such importance to this generation.”

Virtus Consult recently completed a 2-year Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) with Oxford Brookes University to refine and promote a holistic methodology for enhancing energy performance in existing buildings, based on a unique 5-stage process.

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