New data from EDF Energy has revealed that better energy efficiency could deliver nearly £9.4 million in savings per year across 1,792 colleges, school and universities analysed. By putting in place various energy efficiency measures, the average campus could achieve a total saving of as much as £37,110 per year – the equivalent of 371 student laptops for the new academic year.

These energy savings would have a significant environmental impact, and could save 32,421 tonnes of CO2 per year across the 1,792 campuses. This is equal to the carbon emissions of 17,620 flights between London and Sydney, or to the positive impact of planting 810,525 square metres of woodland.

EDF Energy analysed the educational sites remotely using energy consumption data to understand the potential for energy efficiency and carbon reductions at campuses across the country.    

Across the vast majority of locations, EDF Energy found that very simple changes such as switching to energy efficient lighting could deliver a significant impact:

  • As many as 53% of the campuses analysed could make huge cost and emission savings simply by installing energy efficient lighting.
  • On average, organisations could make annual savings of £6,719 per site by installing efficient lighting, reducing their carbon emissions by 22 tonnes per year.
  • Over 65% could make savings by optimising their operational schedule, which might include turning heating off more promptly when users leave the building.

Vincent de Rul, Director of Energy Solutions at EDF Energy, commented: 

“Energy efficiency has been a UK-wide focus for a number of years, but our analysis of these sites shows that the majority of organisations can still make meaningful carbon reductions that result in significant savings – through very simple changes.

“Our data covers a relatively small proportion of the UK’s education organisations – imagine what the impact would be if all UK campuses made even the simplest of changes, whether that be efficient lighting or occupancy sensors? As the UK has committed to becoming carbon neutral by 2050, we want to demonstrate that all schools, colleges and universities can achieve positive results one change at a time.”

There are a number of ways in which education providers can monitor their energy consumption to identify the simple, impactful changes that are available to them.  

Nescot, Epsom's college of further and higher education, recently installed EDF Energy’s live energy monitoring tool PowerNow to reveal energy efficiency opportunities at an asset level.

Using energy readings that are transmitted to a cloud-based platform where the data can be viewed in real time, Nescot has been able to discover new ways to save money that they can reinvest in their students and facilities.

Maria Vetrone, Deputy Principal Finance and Resources, Nescot, commented:

“PowerNow is incredibly important to the college because we are now seeing the information and data to make decisions on how we use energy, to get costs down so we can release those savings back into the curriculum.”


“We as a college would recommend all organisations to implement such a product if they are keen to reduce their energy consumption and costs.”

As the biggest supplier to UK businesses and the largest producer of low carbon energy, EDF Energy is working to change the way UK organisations use energy, enabling this transition to a low carbon system.

EDF Energy used their remote monitoring tool, PowerReport, to identify saving opportunities at a total of 1,792 school, university and college sites in the UK. PowerReport provides an analysis of energy efficiency that measures data across a business’s site to identify where energy is being consumed and the potential energy savings.

Its analysis is based on energy consumption data, crossed with external data about the building such as weather or building type. The PowerReport analysis identified five energy conservation measures that could benefit the education providers.

The data reveals the total level of savings available across the 1,792 campuses and five energy conservation measures (£9,357,487), as well as average savings for each solution, as shown below:

  1. Install low energy lighting, average saving £6,719;
  2. Install occupancy sensors to shut off lights in guest rooms, average saving £7,322;
  3. Retrofit Enhanced Ventilation Control, average saving £15,790;
  4. Use energy efficient air conditioners, average saving £6,206;
  5. Optimise the operational schedule, average saving £1,073.

Since it is possible for some education providers to apply all five solutions at once, the total average saving available is £37,110. This figure represents the gross savings to a campus energy bill per annum, without factoring in installation costs.

The data also reveals the amount of carbon dioxide emissions that could be saved through the efficiency measures: a total of 32,421 tonnes of carbon per year across the 1,792 campuses if all five efficiency measures are implemented in line with PowerReport recommendations. 

London to Sydney flight equivalents are based on C-LEVEL calculations which put the emissions of the Boeing 747-400 which is used for long-haul flights at 92 kg per hour. Based on the new planned 20 hour non-stop flight, this would come to 1,840 kg of CO2 for a one-way flight. This equates to 1.84 tonnes of CO2 per flight.

Woodland carbon capture equivalents are based on The Woodland Trust calculations which show 25 square metres of trees can store nearly 1 tonne of carbon.

Laptop equivalents are based on student laptop costs at Laptops Direct.


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