Key school staff ensuring energy savings

Date 12/12/2016

Key school staff ensuring energy savings

Over the last ten years, Ysgol Friars in Bangor’s energy bills has reduced significantly, thanks to the commitment of key staff. They have ensured less use of electricity and gas, therefore energy bills are nearly £10,000 less than a decade ago.

 Councillor John Wynn Jones, Gwynedd Council’s Cabinet Member for Environment said:

 “The school has a dedicated team of staff, whose commitment to energy efficiency is instrumental to the energy performance of the site. Without them, it would be easy for the energy use at a school of this size to get out of control. I’d like to personally thank them for their diligence and contribution to reducing carbon in Gwynedd Council properties.”

 Gwynedd Council has so far managed to reduce its carbon footprint 27%, saving £3.1 million since implementing its Carbon Management Plan in 2010. The Council’s Energy Conservation Team are now operating the second phase of the Carbon Management Plan, working closely with sites including secondary schools and using monitoring and targeting techniques to spot ways to reduce energy consumption.  

 Ysgol Friars has achieved these savings thanks to dedicated staff such as George Williams, Maintenance Manager at the school, who is a qualified electrician and is always looking at new ways to be more efficient.

 He said: “I always make sure that we choose the most efficient options when replacing equipment or items such as light fittings. My electrical background means I have a good understanding of these products and can carry out the installation of the equipment myself. I also manage the school’s heating system, enabling me to make changes to the heating in any of our buildings from my computer.”

 Other energy-saving improvements include turning kitchen equipment on later in the morning, rather than all catering equipment being turned on first thing in the morning.

 Also essential to energy conservation at the school is the management of the IT equipment. Richard Rooke, IT Manager ensures that the most energy efficient possible replacements are selected. He also ensures that an automatic shut down system is set so that no unnecessary equipment is left on overnight.

 The School’s Administrative Manager, Janet Williams, is responsible for managing and monitoring the utility budgets, and she keeps a careful eye on the electricity and gas consumed every month, quickly pointing out any unusual activity, and liaises with the Council’s Energy Conservation Team accordingly.

 David Healey, Ysgol Friars Deputy Head teacher noted: “There have been many projects to save energy at the school over the years, resulting in a smaller carbon footprint as well as reduced costs. These include solar panels, boiler upgrades, insulation and more. However, there is no doubt that without the careful consideration given to saving energy by our staff, it would be very easy for our electricity and gas use  to get out of control.

 “Our school has the highest number of pupils out of all Gwynedd secondary schools, and with a floor area of 10,911m2, we are also the largest school by size. This makes it very difficult to manage our energy use and it is therefore essential that we do all that we can to ensure that the building and all its technology and equipment, is used in the most efficient way possible.”