Schools Link Programme - CASE STUDY
Case Studies
* Broomhill School,
* West Ashtead School, Surrey

West Ashtead School, Surrey

“This programme has helped us to pin point areas for potential energy savings and to ensure that our energy monitoring is appropriate. We will be checking our winter fuel bills and meter readings to see if the loft insulation that was installed, with funding accessed with help from CREATE, has really paid off.”

Nicola Hazelwood
Administration Officer, West Ashtead Primary School, Surrey

West Ashstead Primary School was one of the first link schools to take advantage of the energy efficiency programme, during a pilot with schools in Leatherhead, where ExxonMobil has its Headquarters. CREATE and Groundwork worked in partnership to deliver a range of energy management and curriculum based services to the local schools that requested help and advice. The aim of the programme was to raise awareness of energy matters throughout school communities and to reduce energy costs.

A professional energy survey was arranged by CREATE and paid for by ExxonMobil. The survey identified two key areas for attention at West Ashtead; the need for improved loft insulation and time controls for on-peak electric water heaters. CREATE’s project officer, Sandy Carter worked with the school’s administration officer, to put together an application for a SchoolEnergy rebate. The application was successful, because the measures identified would pay for themselves in energy savings within two to three years. The school paid 75% of the cost of the measures out of their own budget and ExxonMobil made up the other 25%. The school then received a 50% cash rebate from the SchoolEnergy programme.

The simple energy efficiency measures installed at West Ashstead included loft insulation and time switches on water heaters in classrooms and the staff room. A school energy policy was produced and a process of regular meter reading, by the caretaker and administration officer, was devised to record energy use and help monitor the savings.

In April 2002, Groundwork, Thames Valley worked with Kirsty Nicholls, science co-ordinator at West Ashstead, on a whole school energy day. This event involved every class in energy related activities and went some way towards introducing a whole school approach to energy management. The activities were all curriculum related and supported the school’s aim to raise awareness of the need to save energy.

Later in the year CREATE helped year 4 pupils with their science project ‘Keeping Warm’. The children were appointed Special Energy Investigators and were involved in, “The Case of the Great Heat Waste”. They explored the school to find ways the building is not keeping warm i.e. external doors and windows open, draughts around external doors, radiators blocked by furniture or coats. They recorded what they saw, discussed their findings and suggested solutions for keeping their school warm.

Energy efficiency is now a way of life at West Ashstead School and further projects may take the energy saving message into the community at large.