An economy drive to save energy in Moray’s schools has resulted in savings of well over £800,000 – with potential for even greater savings.
That is the good news that will await Moray’s councillors when they attend a meeting of the policy and resources committee on Tuesday.
In a report by the local authority’s estates manager, Stuart Beveridge, and Bill Anderson, who is energy office at Moray Council, members will be reminded that the Moray Council energy team visited schools throughout the region after power bills soared by over £1million last year.
These visits revealed that staff in several schools were not complying with standard procedures – and provided them with advice on how to save energy and so cut costs.
Most have reacted positively to that advice, resulting in across-the-board savings.
The report says: “In 2013/14 the councils’ energy bill for non-domestic properties was £2,798,883 – a decrease of £844,873 (23.2%) compared to 2012/13.”
Energy consumption fell by 12.1% – far above the target fall of 2% each year – prompting high praise in the report for the role schools played in helping achieve these results.
The report added: “There is potential for further significant reductions in energy consumption through a programme of energy projects, property rationalisation, use of building energy managements systems and staff awareness/behaviour changes.
“These are necessary to minimise the council’s carbon emissions, energy costs and the associated impact of the carbon reduction commitment energy efficiency scheme.”
The report said that follow-up visits to Portessie and West End primary schools in Elgin demonstrated that virtually every recommendation made in the original visits had been carried out.
Other primaries visited included Elgin’s Bishopmill primary, Keith, Mortlach and St Gerardines in Lossiemouth. The report highlights the energy-saving drive included installation of biomass boilers at Speyside High and Milne’s High, while other schools are to receive similar systems during 2015/16.
Leader of Moray Council, Allan Wright, welcomed the findings of the report, saying: “I’m absolutely delighted – I think the position we were in concentrated matters and the results show what can be done.
“I’m sure we will be aiming to improve further – it’s very encouraging.
“The improvement in the schools came as a result of assemblies and teacher guidance, there was a great enthusiasm from the young people to ‘go green’.
“Once it becomes the accepted way of doing things that is when you can make further improvements.”