Affordable, efficient and renewable energy for schools

We’re all doing our bit to reduce our carbon footprint where we can and be more mindful of our energy consumption at home and work, writes Matt Gage, Programme Director for Schools Commercial at the DfE.

In the Schools Commercial Team, our colleagues across the country are meeting with school business professionals to hear about the challenges and successes our schools are having, including improving our energy efficiency.

Our team is keen to support the challenges of managing the business side of schools on a day to day basis. We know it can be a headache and expensive to replace things like heating systems whilst balancing the desire to find greener, more renewable solutions. In response to this, considering the feedback from schools and the insight we have gathered, we have worked in partnership with a company called Fusion21 to design a heating and renewable energy deal for schools and the wider education sector.

We believe that not only will it offer value for money and improve your schools heating efficiency, but Fusion21 will take some of the pain away, by managing the project on your behalf - from sourcing the right regional supplier, with DBS checked staff to managing the installation process.

Your school may also be eligible for an interest free loan. If you are planning any energy efficiency projects, including the Fusion21 initiative, it is worth investigating if your school could be eligible to secure an interest free loan to pay for the work from Salix, a not for profit organisation who provide interest-free capital for all maintained schools, academies, free schools and sixth form colleges. The interest-free funding is repaid based upon your predicted energy savings. Further information can be found here

If your schools’ energy contract is up for renewal, you may want to compare offers and check you are getting best value. Last year we launched School Switch, an energy comparison service to do just that. On average schools are saving £1500 (around 11%) through using the service. We are always seeking to improve our offer to schools and respond to your feedback.

To find out more about Fusion21, School Switch and all the other DfE approved deals that are available to schools visit or search ‘buying for schools’ on GOV.UK.