Affordable net-zero by 2043


Work done:

  • Over the course of 8 months, we developed a net-zero strategy and estate decarbonisation plan (EDP) for Haileybury that showed how the college could achieve net-zero by 2043.
  • The EDP established a year by year roadmap to estate net-zero, starting with energy efficiencies, solar and windpower for distributed (on-site) generation, and leading ultimately to heat decarbonisation, the latter being the key to achieving net-zero carbon.
  • Workshops and monthly steering meetings ensured transparency and engagement at every step.
  • ReEnergise know-how and experience working with schools and colleges meant that we could quickly identify the key issues and avoid wasting time on dead-ends.

Benefits to Client:

  • Haileybury staff now have a credible net-zero target date and understand the future financial commitments required to reach it.
  • The roadmap is affordable: it has been carefully constructed to meet the annual cashflow constraints set by the college.
  • In the early years the plan focuses on reducing energy usage and operating costs significantly, saving money that can be used to finance the more expensive main heat decarbonisation projects later in the 20-year programme. The plan shows how to cut grid electricity by 70% in the first 5 years.
  • The early cost-cutting work will not jeopardise the eventual achievement of net-zero: the plan achieves unity of purpose over the next 20 years, until the job is done.
  • The plan can be efficiently updated as required, in the light of new developments or data.
  • The plan serves as a common reference point and guide for the entire college community.
  • The Haileybury partnership with ReEnergise continues, as we support the implementation of the roadmap.

St George’s College

Work done:

  • Initial decarbonisation plan to determine the preferred design concept, including associated costings and business case modelling.
  • Tendering to identify the right installers and put required contracts in place for the college.
  • Project-managed the installation of a 132-borehole ground array feeding 4 x 222 kW ground source heat pumps in an adapted existing plant room.
  • New heat pumps serve an existing district heat network to 4 buildings with capacity to connect to a further three, thereby supplying the whole core of the
  • Prefabrication of key components ensured higher quality whilst minimising on-site disruption.
  • Work completed within a demanding timescale, including disruptions during lockdowns, to meet a Government subsidy deadline that was critical to the
    business case.

Ground Source Heat Pump Installation at St George’s College, Weybridge

Benefits to Client:

  • Worked closely with college staff to ensure decarbonisation plans were in-line with the college’s wider net-zero goals.
  • Carbon emissions reduced by ~250 tonnes of CO2e per year.
  • The system can provide cooling as well as heating. This will be significant in summer, when the buildings have historically had overheating issues.
  • Futureproofed against a reliance on fossil fuels.

Worth School and Abbey

Work done:

  • Initial decarbonisation plan to determine the preferred design concept, including associated costings and business case modelling.
  • Tendering to identify the right installers and put required contracts in place.
  • Project-managed the replacement of old oil boilers with a 1.6MW biomass district heat network to Worth School and Worth Abbey (24 buildings with a network extending over 1.7km), with LPG back-up.
  • Installation of a remote monitoring system to allow for heat usage tracking and billing purposes.
  • Futureproofed the project by providing a tee-off point in the network, to supply a sports centre currently in the initial design phase.
  • Working closely with estate staff, coordinated a programme of extensive trenching work around the estate, including during term time, to minimise disruption to normal business. This required weekly meetings and a rolling 3-week look-ahead to be kept up to date and published around the school and abbey.
  • Kept installer contract variations below 3%, from the initial contract.
  • Programme completed within a demanding timescale, including disruptions during lockdowns, to meet a Government subsidy deadline that was critical to the business case.

Benefits to Client:

  • Carbon emissions reduced by ~940 tonnes of CO2e per annum.
  • Estate successfully off oil before an anticipated Government deadline to start phasing out oil plant (2024 at the time the project was launched).
  • The system is saving money compared to the counter-factual.

The founder – Thomas Sutton

Charterhouse School

Work done:

  • Condition survey of all M&E assets (over 1000 items of plant and associated equipment).
  • Decarbonisation strategy and plan (over 70 buildings entailed).
  • Prime contractor for 230kW solar PV project.
  • VAT review & energy account validation, bringing immediate reduction in operating costs, plus rebates on past and current accounts.
  • Energy procurement support, including online auction to reduce supply costs.
  • Energy supply demand and capacity assessment for estate expansion purposes.
  • Ad hoc M&E advice as required.
  • Estate water strategy.
  • Tutorial on energy account management for estate staff.

Benefits to Client:

  • Financial. E.g. significant rebates on past energy accounts and savings on energy procurement.
  • Operational. E.g. holding a working database of all M&E assets indicating data such as location, type, fitness for role, state of repair, priority for replacement, and likely costs will speed up planning and maintenance work.
  • Climate change. E.g. The estate decarbonisation plan provides a useful roadmap for future projects that will accelerate the intended transition to net zero-carbon, whilst the installation of solar PV at scale will reduce the estate’s carbon footprint in a practical sense.

Drilling rig for the GSHP boreholes at Sherborne Girls

Sherborne Girls School

Work done:

  • Decarbonisation strategy and plan.
  • Prime contractor for design and installation of a 180kW GSHP for new Arts Centre.
  • Client’s consulting engineer for two solar projects.
  • Analysis of feasibility for estate-wide biomass system (deemed unviable) and Combined Heat & Power.
  • ESOS audits.
  • Research, scoping and installation of live/real-time energy monitoring & management system; with termly reports on energy usage observations.

Benefits to Client:

  • A comprehensive index of potential money and carbon saving projects now exists, ranked by cost versus benefit, and full of useful advice on each option.
  • Net benefit on solar projects of over £350,000 over 20 years.
  • ESOS compliance.
  • Anomalies in day to day energy usage can now be identified quickly.
  • Arts Centre GSHP is cost-neutral with mains gas, but reduces carbon footprint by 75%, and provides concurrent heating and cooling in different parts of the building – all from the one system. Clever!

Hussen Farooq and Roy Campbell from ReEnergise, inspecting the biomass plant room construction.

Lucton School

Work done:

  • Scoping study and cost/benefit analysis for potential low-carbon projects across the estate.
  • Prime-contractor and provision of finance for the design and installation of a medium scale biomass district heating system for the entire school estate. This project was first identified in September 2016, commenced in December 2016, and completed in June 2017.
  • Financed LED proposal pending.

Benefits to Client:

  • A much clearer idea of the art of the possible on the estate in terms of low-carbon installations, to inform future planning.
  • The biomass system is expected to save the school some £750,000 (net) over 20 years.
  • The finance package is designed to meet cashflow annual limits set by the school until paid off. Once the finance term has finished the school will make significant running costs savings each year, courtesy of fuel cost reductions and government subsidies.

Westbourne House School

Westbourne House School

Work done:

  • Assessed unsolicited proposals received from various renewables installers, as part of an overall energy efficiency audit. We modelled the proposals and demonstrated, mathematically, that they would not achieve what the client hoped for.
  • Project-managed a combined solar PV/thermal installation on the swimming pool roof.
  • Scope for a more innovative project now under review, including using a nearby lake to provide the source for a water source heat pump that will heat a new build.

Benefits to Client:

  • Avoided wasting a lot of money on an inappropriate low-carbon solution for heating the estate (which is already on mains gas).
  • Solar installation projected to achieve a net benefit of £120,000 in running costs over the 20-year period modelled. Payback is 7 years.

Biomass boiler installation at Ardingly College

Ardingly College

Work done:

  • Developed the energy strategy for part of the estate, including a detailed financial and technical analysis of the relative merits of low-carbon energy options versus conventional systems.
  • Prime-contracted the installation of a biomass district-heating system – a complex project requiring the coordination of several agencies.

Benefits to Client:

  • Net saving of £700,000 over 20 years on the biomass system.

Estate Decarbonisation Plans

These days it all starts with an Estate Decarbonisation Plan (EDP). So what work does this entail?

Through the EDP development process, ReEnergise investigates the means for a client school to fully decarbonise its estate heat, power and transport, using the existing situation as a base case for comparison.

Heat is the main driver, as it creates most of the typical school estate’s carbon emissions and its decarbonisation is entirely within the gift of, and totally dependent upon, the school’s actions. Heat decarbonisation is also the most difficult, disruptive and expensive aspect of estate decarbonisation, so must be given due priority in planning.

Transport creates much fewer direct emissions and the route to decarbonisation is almost inevitably electrification.

Before a plan for the future of estate power can be developed it is necessary to understand not only existing demand and options for efficiencies, but also the additional demand created by the plans for future heat and transport decarbonisation.

National Grid has a Government target to decarbonise the UK power grid by 2035, therefore once the provision of power to the school estate matches the future demand, no further power decarbonisation work will be necessary if decarbonisation is the only goal, even if the supply is still entirely from the grid.

However, independent power generation or storage on a school estate could still provide a financial advantage, as well as enhancing security of supply, and is therefore also considered as part of the EDP study.

To be most effective and efficient, heat, power and transport should be treated as one integrated system. This is a complex development process that can only be achieved by tackling it using the methodology described above.

Pulling all this together, the EDP will set out a multi-year plan to implement this integrated system. The EDP can be amended and adjusted as progress, circumstances and technological developments dictate, but will ensure that any actions taken are aligned with the overall objective.

This degree of planning for the future has become a key and necessary undertaking for any school wishing to become net-zero sooner or later.

In recent months and years ReEnergise has been engaged to develop decarbonisation plans, or higher level strategies, for a wide range of schools and colleges. The list below shows those already submitted to client schools, or under development:

  • Aysgarth School
  • Beaudesert Park School
  • Berkshire College of Agriculture
  • Methodist Independent Schools Trust – 7 schools so far, with 3 more pending
  • Diocese of Guildford – 41 schools
  • Diocese of St Albans – 3 schools
  • Edgeborough School
  • Felsted School
  • Haileybury
  • Hawthorne Park Community Primary School
  • Hockerill Anglo-European College
  • Horris Hill School
  • Kingston Maurward College
  • Lime Academy Trust – 7 schools
  • Tendring College
  • Tennyson Road Primary School (North & South Campuses)
  • The Corsham School
  • The Rugby Group
  • The Stowe Group
  • Yeovil College

The pipeline for new orders remains strong.