With the 54% increase in domestic energy bills and an average rise of 250% to businesses, along with the overall rise in cost of living across the UK, it is more important than ever to ensure we are getting the most efficiency from our equipment.
This cost of living crisis in the UK is affecting some schools’ ability to operate, with many having to cut spending on teaching in order to cover the bills.
It is reported that almost two thirds of headteachers in the UK are now planning to cut down on energy consumption, with 54% saying they will limit spending on equipment, 30% scrapping non-educational support, and 15% reducing the number of teachers, or the hours they teach.
Every penny spent in schools is a choice
The NAHT school leaders union survey, conducted between 21st March – 5th April 2022
showed on average head teachers were expecting to pay an additional £26,786 on energy in the next financial year and their total annual energy bill to be £53,298 a 106% jump, with 16% of schools anticipating costs to increase by 200% or more.
Paul Whiteman, NAHT general secretary, said the rising energy costs “will almost certainly have a negative impact on education, and could hamper recovery efforts” and that “For some, the energy price hikes are the equivalent to the cost of a full-time teacher.
“Every penny spent in schools is a choice. These increased energy costs mean that money which could be being spent on pupils is being paid to energy companies instead.”
A Department for Education spokesperson said officials “recognised schools may be facing cost pressures in the coming months” and were considering what additional support could be offered.
What can we do?
The government is now trying to raise awareness of so-called “vampire” devices. These are the devices we routinely leave on standby which drain a surprisingly large amount of electricity.
If you think about the amount of electronic items in your school that are left on standby or worse left on by students or staff members you can see where some easy cost saving measures could be utilised.
- Televisions/monitors costs an average of £24.61 a year to leave on standby.
- Computers cost around £12.
- Printers cost £4 a year.
- Phone chargers left on standby cost £1.50 a year
And these costs are based on domestic energy prices, so you can realistically double them for business energy rates.
Therefore turning off these devices when they are not in use could help you cut costs in a big way.
Virtue Technologies offer various ways to automate your school to ensure optimal energy efficiency. We can work with you to audit and improve your school’s tech to be the most energy efficient.
Here are some of our general tips you can do yourself to cut down energy bills.
Set up your equipment to automatically switch off.
Your school’s computers and monitors can be set to energy saving modes, meaning they will automatically shut down at certain times of the day or if left unattended for certain periods of time. These limits are set by you.
Keep your equipment up to date
Virtue Technologies can fully audit your ITC equipment and ensure you have the most energy efficient models, or advise what is available to save energy and money.
Take, for instance, the latest interactive displays with the Human Presence Detection module; the screen automatically turns off when classrooms are empty.
Unplug the laptops and unused equipment.
Do your students or staff work on laptops, yet leave them plugged in across the day and night?
Unplug them and utilise the battery power until they need to be charged, then when they are plugged back in while being used, they are also recharging the battery.
Utilise smart technology
Smart plugs, smart bulbs and motion sensor technology is now widely available and extremely reliable. Replacing older bulbs with more energy efficient smart LED tech and having equipment plugged into smart sockets that can be set to turn off at certain times via a simple to use app makes it easier to control energy use.
These are just a few simple measures we can use to shave some money off of the energy bills.
Talk to Virtue Technologies today to see how we can advise and assist in getting your school as energy efficient as possible.