This week saw the final step in our first major project to make our school more sustainable and eventually carbon-neutral. Over the past few weeks, usually after school has closed for pupils, contractors have come in and replaced all our old fluorescent and incandescent lighting with LED units. This week the hall lighting was completed and we are now 100% LED for our lighting.
Most rooms and corridors are now much brighter, but the crucial thing is that we are using significantly less electricity to provide the light. This is the first phase of a much larger plan which we will be sharing more about with you over the coming months and years.
During lockdown we started to plan a path towards being carbon neutral, or perhaps even a net provider of sustainable energy! The first thing we’re doing is analysing our energy and water use, and we’re making changes to control systems and meters so that we can get a better baseline picture of our overall energy consumption and our patterns of use. The data will help us identify where we can make reductions, but it will also allow us to identify and quantify savings as we progress.
The LED lighting project is our first big step beyond data gathering. The project has been funded by a loan available to the public sector and arranged through Hertfordshire County Council. We will repay the loan over a number of years, using our savings on energy costs to fund the repayments year by year.
In later projects we will aim to address heat loss through improved insulation, explore options to replace our oil fired central heating system, and see if we can put our roof area to use through solar panels and solar water heating. We’ll also be involving the children more and more, so that they can learn about the climate change challenges we all face. Look out for further updates and project news.