That is according to new research by carbon reduction specialist Sustain, which anaylsed the energy spend of state schools and the NHS in England. The research revealed that schools spend on average £641m on energy and water – 3.5% of the costs spent on teaching staff – while the NHS spends about £500m each year.

Sustain claims that schools could save approximately £130m by implementing basic utility saving measures, while the NHS could save up to £150m through energy efficiency measures. This money, it argues could then be spent on frontline services.

Sustain head of low carbon buildings Matt Fulford, said: “The kinds of measures hospitals and schools could easily adopt are tried and tested ones which have been proven to work. These include changing lamps in existing light fittings, making sure existing heating systems are running well and temperature settings are in place to reduce running time, and insulating buildings and boiler rooms”.

Sustain, in partnership with the British Institute of Facilities Management (BIFM), is now calling on facilities managers responsible for energy use in buildings, to consider the potential efficiencies in energy and water through well planned programmes of effective measures.

BIFM energy policy advisor Bill Wright, said: “Energy and water costs are straight off the ‘bottom line’ and even simple changes to building operation or the installation of energy and water efficient equipment can deliver major savings.”

Carys Matthews

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