New £3.5m fund designed to accelerate uptake of Clean Air as a Service in schools before Autumn term

Clean Air as a Service, £3.5 million fund: Schools & colleges struggling to cope with staff/pupil safety & energy efficiency can finance

Schools and colleges struggling to cope with the twin challenges of staff and pupil safety and energy efficiency can now finance ‘Clean Air as a Service’ through a new £3.5 million fund established by leading energy efficiency firm, Energys Group. Repayment costs are a little as 5p / per day per pupil on a 5-year agreement.

The fund, which ‘goes live’ today (27th June 2022) is designed to be off-balance sheet; simple to administrate and apply for; and presents no commercial risk to successful applicants. Any educational establishment – local authority maintained, academy, or faith school – is eligible to apply. Independent schools are also eligible and welcome to apply.

Energys Group is already well-known for its installations of energy efficient retrofit technologies including LED lighting in over 1000 schools and colleges. The Company believes its new Clean Air as a Service (CAaaS) model and dedicated £3.5m fund, will act as a much-needed driver for safer, more energy efficient schools, in line with a school’s duty of care to provide a safe environment.

Well-managed indoor air quality delivers a wide range of benefits including:

  • lower rates of sickness and absenteeism
  • higher levels of productivity and cognition, leading to better results
  • peace of mind to staff, pupils and other building users.

Energys Group’s CAasS finance model is very similar to that used in other sectors where the upfront cost of investment in hardware is prohibitive to uptake. For a pre-agreed monthly ‘packaged fee’, a school can benefit from Energy Group’s Goji Air indoor air management technology, any ongoing maintenance and spares, plus warrantees. Energys Group calculates that, on average, the cost of monthly payment will be 5p per child, per day – averaging at £17/per month over a 5-year agreement.

‘Paradigm shift’

“The Covid-19 Pandemic has led to a paradigm shift in attitudes towards indoor air quality,” says Kevin Cox, CEO at Energys Group. “Last Autumn, we saw two things happening in the school’s market. Our customers were already struggling to cope with the rising cost of energy in a volatile market, whist Covid safety concerns led to national guidance that ‘open windows’ meant ‘safer spaces’. Of course, the truth is, open windows do not necessarily result in ‘safer environments’. Plus, of course, it creates a massive additional demand for space heating – and this is something most schools and colleges can ill afford,” he says.

The company says this combination of factors and challenges has resulted in significant interest from schools and colleges in new approaches to clean air management. However, the recent and rapid rise in energy prices means many schools are simply unable to afford to invest in the available technologies. The new CAaaS model offers an easy ‘win-win’ route to safer, cleaner air – and a more sustainable approach to heating-related energy in school buildings.

Goji Air technology

Energys Group offers best-in-class technologies as part of its technology portfolio. Its patented technology, sanitises and protects like no other air purifier on the market. It is trusted by a multitude of businesses and facilities around the world including hospitals, schools, transport operators, wellness clinics, residential care homes and in the hospitality industry. Goji Air is also the only medical grade air purification system with NCCO Technology, proven, in laboratory conditions, to minimise the transmission of airborne viruses like seasonal flu and Covid-19 by neutralising such viruses with 99.95% efficiency.

Next steps

Schools and colleges interested in applying for its £3.5m fund for Clean Air as a Service are urged to act quickly – as funds will be released on a first-come-first-served basis; and demand is expected to be high. The first stage in the process is to register with Energys Group to book FREE No-obligation Trial with a Goji Air Unit. To do so, schools can contact Energys Group on +44 (0)1403 786212 or find via the web.

Energys urges schools & colleges to use its £multi-million fund to invest in energy efficiency

Energy Saving Ideas For Schools

The rising cost of energy and inflation means that now is the time to invest in energy efficiency – and specifically, upgrades to LED Lighting. This is the message from specialists in energy efficiency retrofit projects, Energys Group.

The company is urging Business Managers in maintained schools and colleges to reap the cost efficiencies that upgrades to LED lighting can offer. “This is often the easiest way to save money and cut carbon,” says Energys Group Account Director Raj Gunasekaran. “Doing nothing is likely to impact on operational costs and may well affect your front line / staffing budgets.”

To support schools at a time when a combination of energy price rises, inflation and rising operational costs are increasing rapidly, Energys Group has announced a multi-million pound Energy Efficiency Fund for Maintained Schools. Energys Group is a leading specialist in low carbon energy efficient technologies, LED manufacturer with proven, tested certified lighting solutions suitable for education sector. The company provides cash positive funding programs as well as full turnkey solutions – and has implemented successful energy retrofit projects at over 1000 schools.

“Our Energy Efficiency Fund for Maintained Schools is specifically aimed at educational establishments that want to energy efficiency / LED lighting upgrade projects – but can’t afford them using CapEx Budgets,” adds Raj Gunasekaran. Energys has designed its fund in a way that no upfront payment is needed. And, funding is available to all types of maintained schools.”

For schools and colleges interested in this scheme, Energys say it will start the process by identifying your potential energy savings. The company offers a FREE No-Obligation Lighting Audit at no cost to your school.

Audit process

During the audit, Energys will also identify measures to see if your school meets the eligibility criteria for the Government-backed SALIX Decarbonisation Grant scheme (PSDS). This funding scheme is due to open in September 2022. Energys has previously delivered PSDS projects in over 70 schools with a project value of £6M.

If you are interested to sign for FREE No-obligation Lighting audit, please call 07540051287 [or] email raj.gunasekaran@energysgroup.com and quote reference “SCHOOLS-2022-AUDIT”.

Investment in indoor air quality & ventilation could save UK £23bn, says report

Government must seize the post-pandemic opportunity to mandate long-term improvements to infection control in buildings...

The Government must seize the post-pandemic opportunity to mandate long-term improvements to infection control in commercial, public and residential buildings to reduce the transmission of future waves of COVID-19, new pandemics, seasonal influenza and other infectious diseases, according to a report published today (June 13 2022) by the National Engineering Policy Centre (NEPC).

Even without the extreme circumstances of a pandemic, the report estimates that seasonal diseases cost the country as much as £8 billion a year in disruption and sick days. Improving ventilation, air quality and sanitation in buildings could minimise transmission, reducing the number of people infected, thereby saving lives and reducing ill health and its societal impacts.

Buildings and transport systems should be designed, operated, managed and regulated for infection control, says the report, because these elements are critical to minimise transmission.

However, the pandemic has highlighted that many of the UK’s buildings are not being operated according to the current air quality standards, because they were built to previous standards or before standards were introduced, they have been modified over time, or are not operated as originally intended. People should be able to have confidence that the air in the buildings they use is safe to breathe, just as they would expect the water to be safe to drink.

As well as reducing the impacts of future pandemics, seasonal flu and the associated economic and social costs, the report identifies additional benefits from improving infection resilience. For example, improved ventilation has been proven to reduce infection risks, boost productivity and alleviate asthma and general exposure to air pollutants that can contribute to ‘sick building syndrome’.

The report makes eight recommendations to enshrine infection resilience in building regulations and improve the health of our indoor environments, which include:

  • Establishing best practice – the British Standards Institution (BSI) should convene the relevant expertise and develop meaningful standards that are embedded into existing design and operational practices.
  • Promoting building health – the UK Health Security Agency should promote the benefits of infection resilience and good indoor air quality to building and transport owners and the public through signage and ratings in a similar way to food or water standards.
  • Ensuring that buildings operate as designed in terms of infection resilience – industry bodies and public procurement must drive improvements to the commissioning and testing of building systems at handover, and subsequently over the life of a building.
  • Establishing in-use regulations with local authorities by 2030 to maintain standards of safe and healthy building performance over the building lifetime.
  • Ensuring Government departments such as BEIS, DfT and DLUHC consider incorporating infection resilience into major retrofit programmes designed to meet the commitments of the Net Zero Strategy.

Click for more information on our own approach to ensuring optimum Indoor Air Quality.

Energys Horizon Scan: UK councils struggle with Net Zero, energy efficiency confusion, PSDS & more…

We cover an interesting survey of 50 local authority decision makers – with 7 in 10 UK councils struggling with net zero transition...

7 in 10 UK councils struggling to finance their Net Zero transition

This month, we’re covering an interesting report of survey of 50 local authority decision makers – which found that most have not begun properly delivering their Net Zero transition plans on the ground, with funding constraints being the most common barrier to progress.

Just one quarter of the council representatives classed their employer as being properly into the ‘delivery’ phase of their Net Zero strategy.

When the survey respondents were asked about the biggest challenges to delivering their council’s ambitions, 71 per cent said that financing constraints were the biggest challenge. Rounding out the top three most commonly-cited challenges were a lack of in-house skills and a lack of resource.

“Encouraging public sector work on energy efficiency and transforming the public estate is essential to us,” comments Kevin Cox, Managing Director, Energys Group.

“It’s concerning to me that local authorities appear to lack the resource they need to get this crucial shift up to pace. We are ready and able to help any local authority seeking to embed Net Zero more swiftly, through both advice and installation across the quick, affordable wins energy efficiency delivers.”

On finance, the BBC reported last summer that UK councils are collectively facing shortfalls of some £3bn in their budgets for 2023-4. The impact this is having on the Net Zero transition has previously been researched by the Housing, Communities and Local Government Committee, which is recommending that the UK government produces a long-term funding plan for local authority climate action.

On skills and resource, a lack of in-house expertise is clearly leaving some local authorities unsure as to how to flesh out and to deliver comprehensive Net Zero plans. Three-quarters of the professionals surveyed said they do not believe they have a ‘clear’ or ‘comprehensive’ understanding of their council’s emissions footprint. A strong baseline is a necessary foundation for all good environmental plans.

“This news is a telling reminder the public sector requires Net Zero support,” says Cox. “We are here to provide this.”

Efficiency confusion

The Guardian writes that a 91 per cent tax break alongside the new windfall tax on the profits of oil and gas companies was announced recently.

The thinktank E3G calculated that the tax break would hand between £2.5bn and £5.7bn back to the oil companies over three years, while an energy efficiency programme of £3bn over the same period would upgrade 2.1m homes making them less reliant on gas.

Proponents of energy efficiency, including loft and wall insulation, say efficiency represents a no-regrets investment that cuts bills for good, slashes the carbon emissions driving the climate crisis and boosts jobs.

Another report published by the Tony Blair Institute for Global Change (TBI) found that a £4bn annual investment in energy efficiency could permanently halve heating bills for households by 2035. Its author said Sunak was handing out “raincoats” but “failing to fix the roof”.

Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme

According to a government release, public buildings across England will cut their use of expensive fossil fuels and save millions of pounds on bills, thanks to £553 million in government funding. (Having delivered over 70 projects under Phase 1 & 2 of the Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme – PSDS – we welcome these numbers wholeheartedly.)

Hospitals, schools, libraries, museums and leisure centres across England are among hundreds of public buildings that will cut their use of expensive fossil fuels and save millions of pounds on bills, thanks to funding for affordable, low carbon heating and energy efficiency upgrades.

Crucially, new scope is coming for the public sector to secure more funding for Phase 3 of the scheme. Guidance on how to apply for the next round of applications, Phase 3b, will be published in July, with the application window planned to open for applications in September. Watch this space.

Energy bosses call for more efficiency

In a month dominated by dialogue and counterclaims on efficiency, City AM reports the government’s Net Zero strategy is only resonating with the UK’s “energy elite”, argued Utilita Energy (Utilita) chief executive Bill Bullen.

And Good Energy boss Nigel Pocklington told City AM that energy efficiency remains a “glaring hole” in the government’s strategy for dealing with the current crisis. He said: “If we could do something about the UK’s high level of energy inefficiency, you could make a lasting impact on bills every year, not just as a one off.”

And finally…

In an Environmental Audit Commitee (EAC) report to Parliament, authors warn the UK is facing a chronic skills gap in energy efficiency and retrofit.

Without these vital green skills in the UK economy, Net Zero ambitions will fall flat. EAC is therefore reiterating its previous recommendation that a retrofit strategy and upskilling programme be developed and published. In addition, EAC recommends that training in undertaking whole-life carbon assessments is made accessible through the education system.

EAC Chairman Rt Hon Philip Dunne MP said: “As in many other areas in the drive to Net Zero, the UK must have the green skills to make its low carbon future a reality. Before the summer recess in July, I urge the Government to publish a retrofit strategy and upskilling programme that can ensure the UK economy will have the green jobs necessary to deliver a low-carbon built environment.”