Inspirational low energy primary school

One of the projects we’re very excited about is our work with schools in Haringey.  We completed energy audits for 6 schools to allow them to apply for Haringey zero-cost loan funding, and we’re hoping that the improvement works, including low-efficiency lighting, pipe lagging, TRVs and better boiler controls will take place during the school Summer holidays.  As part of this project our energy auditor, David Pitcher of Green & Castle arranged for a visit to Ashley Primary School in Surrey which has reduced its carbon emissions by 80%.  I was accompanied on the visit by Cal Shaw, Head of Chestnuts Primary and her business manager as well as Jude Clements who has been getting quotes from contractors to do the work at the Haringey Schools.

The Head of Ashley, Richard Dunne, visited Antartica 6 years ago and the sight of icebergs melting motivated him to make a real difference at his school.  Through many projects over the last 5 years he has managed to reduce the school electricity bill to £3000 per annum – which is approximately a twelfth of the average at a Haringey primary.  He has done this by embedding sustainability – the pupils at the school are given the job of monitoring different aspects of energy use and are awarded weekly prizes for the most energy reduction.  There is now almost no artificial lighting at the school – corridors and classrooms are lit by solar tubes – directing the sunlight very effectively into the building.  He has put a large skylight into his Victorian school hall, so it is now a light and airy room.  The school recently had a new block added which (through the solar membrane on the roof) actually produces more energy than it consumes on some days!

We were all extremely impressed and the visit really showed the potential for what could be done at Haringey Schools.  If you’d like to find out more about our School project do contact us at

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