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Simple solution to energy hungry lighting A Surrey school's outdated flourescent lighting was pushing up costs, but now Scott-Broadwood Church of England School has cut its lighting energy consumption by 50% through using a retrofit converter device. The village infant school of Scott-Broadwood takes its environmental impact very seriously. As well as having a place on the curriculum, saving energy and minimising waste are also central to how the school is run. Scott-Broadwood’s ‘Eco-Council’, which is run by and for the children of the school, has introduced recycling of paper, cardboard, printer cartridges and batteries, as well as an on-site wormery.

However, despite these positive changes, the school’s staff and governors were still concerned by the high energy consumption across both of its sites in Ockley and Capel. The outdated fluorescent lamps within the school buildings were identified as a major energy drain, due to their high electricity consumption and short life-span.

“We’d already introduced several initiatives to save energy within the school,” said Chris Mason, Vice-Chair of Governors. “However, we felt it was time to take on a bigger project, in order to tackle the problem of our high energy bills and carbon footprint. Upgrading our lighting seemed like the obvious route forward.”

“We discovered that energy-efficient T5 lamps are incompatible with older-style fittings, so we looked into replacing all of the light fittings across the school’s two sites with brand new fittings,” says Mr Mason. “Unfortunately, this raised additional costs of decoration after the installation, plus potential disruption to the running of the school. We were keen to find a simpler way to upgrade our lighting.”

“This is where Energys was able to step in and provide an alternative, cost-effective solution,” Mr Mason says. “By using their plug-in T5 adapter, we found that we could slot the new, energy-efficient lamps into the existing light fittings. We worked closely with the company to come up with a detailed cost analysis showing how much the project would cost the school, plus what the payback period would be. Only when we were completely happy that the numbers stacked up did the project go ahead.”

Energys not only supplied the Save It Easy converters, its engineers also undertook the full installation process at Scott-Broadwood. In all, 312 lamps were converted to new-generation T5 equivalents – 163 on the school’s Ockley site and 149 on its Capel campus.

As a result of the project, Scott-Broadwood has been able to cut its lighting energy consumption by a staggering 50% – a saving of 11,484 kWh every year. In terms of reduced energy bills and maintenance costs, this means the school is saving £1,365 per year. Most importantly of all, this equates to an annual saving of 6.16 tonnes of carbon dioxide. Scott-Broadwood expects to achieve payback on the project in just 3 years and 8 months.

"The whole process of upgrading the school’s lighting was extremely simple and quick,” comments Mr Mason. “We’re now on track to achieve huge, on-going savings on our energy bills, whilst making a significant dent in our carbon footprint. The project was such a success that we’re keen to take on more energy-saving projects."