A UK council has received funding to help local schools save more than £5.9million on their energy bills.
Nottinghamshire County Council is one of many councils across the UK to develop a carbon management plan.
These plans build on the council’s work for the use of wood fuel, heating more than 60 sites – many of them schools – with boilers using wood pellets.
It comes after the council used an interest-free loan from Salix Finance in 2005 to set up its Recycling Fund, where financial savings are reinvested by the council year-on-year to fund further energy efficiency projects.
The original investment of a £750,000 interest-free loan from Salix (match-funded by the council) has helped local schools save an estimated amount of £950,000 and 4,440 tonnes of carbon annually.
From LED lighting upgrades to boiler replacements, the council has supported energy efficient projects in 78 schools across the region.
Energy myths busted and how to really save money
IT’S hard to know what to believe when it comes to saving money on your energy bills.
We've rounded up some top tips from experts at the Energy Saving Trust (EST) to demystify some common energy myths.
Turning the thermostat up high will warm up your home quicker – FALSE
Sadly, turning your thermostat up to its highest point won't help heat your home any quicker than having it at a lower temperature.
Your thermostat only sets the temperature, so it'll heat up at the same rate whatever heat you have it at.
Wrapping clingfilm on your windows will help you save cash– FALSE
Blocking any gaps around your windows will stop drafts in theory, but you won't see much, if any, saving if you do it.
Instead, think about using draft excluders or getting double glazing installed.
Using an electric heater for a few hours is cheaper than using central heating – FALSE
Electric heaters are one of the most expensive ways you can heat your home.
How much extra you'll pay will depend on how much you use it and how much you pay for your electricity – but it definitely won't help save you cash.
Renters can't switch provider without their landlords permission – FALSE
That's not the case – you are free to swap and choose whichever provider you wish to.
The exception is if your landlord pays your supplier for the energy you use.
Any financial savings from a reduction in energy bills are reinvested year-on-year to fund future green projects.
Nottinghamshire is a signatory to the Nottingham Declaration on Climate Change, which commits the council to tackling the causes and effects of climate change.
For more than a decade, Nottinghamshire County Council has supported more than £4million of energy reduction projects due to the initial interest-free loan of £750,000 from Salix Finance.
Working with Salix, Nottinghamshire County Council has implemented a number of renewable heat and on-site power installations across multiple school estates, including over 10MW of renewable heat (generated from wood pellet boilers) and over 1MW of roof-mounted solar panels.
Collectively, these projects are estimated to save the schools more than £460,000 and 2,700 tonnes of carbon each year.
Over the lifetime of these technologies, this leads to a substantial saving of more than £5.9 million on their energy bills.
Phil Keynes, team manager, Energy & Carbon Management at Nottinghamshire County Council said: “Working with Salix has enabled the Council to make huge improvements to the energy performance of its buildings and street lighting to the benefit of local schools, services, residents and the environment.
"It has also enabled easy access to excellent management information on the performance and achievements of our Recycling Fund investments.”
Hayley Veenhoven, senior programme manager at Salix, said: ”We are proud to have built a long-term relationship with Nottinghamshire County Council over several years, supporting them in meeting their carbon reduction targets.
"As well as the substantial financial and environmental benefits the projects have enabled, multiple schools are now able to provide a more comfortable learning and working environment for pupils and staff.”
Funded by the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, Salix has been working with local authorities in England for more than ten years, investing more than £360 million in energy efficiency projects and saving councils over £71 million per year.
Martin Lewis has weighed in on whether it's really cheaper to leave your heating on all day.
It comes as the government launches its Green Homes Grant scheme, with vouchers worth up to £10,000 up for grabs.
We explain how to apply and how the scheme works.
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