News and insights

News and Insights

Here you’ll find news items we think would be helpful, interesting or amusing for our readers, as well as some of our own thoughts and comment about the world of low-carbon. We do like to be quite forthright, and call a spade a spade, so please sign up to our newsletter to receive useful waffle-busting comment and important market updates direct into your Inbox.

Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme Phase 3c: Portal to Open at 2pm on 10th October

Salix Finance last week announced that the portal for the Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme 3c (PSDS3c) will open for applications on Tuesday 10th October at 2pm. As published in July, the Department for Energy Security and Net Zero has made £230 million available in 2024/25 with a similar budget for 2025/26 to be announced this […]

Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme: Phase 3c Announced by Salix Finance (PSDS3c)

The Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme provides grants for public sector bodies to fund heat decarbonisation and energy efficiency measures. Phase 3c has made £230 million available in 2024/25 with additional budget for financial year 2025/26 to enable projects to be delivered over two years. The application window for Phase 3c is expected to open in […]

Podcast: Nigel Demystifies Estate Decarbonisation on the ISBA Bursarcast

In a recent episode of the Independent Schools’ Bursars Association (ISBA) Bursarcast, Nigel was invited to take part in a discussion about school estate decarbonisation. The 35-minute podcast aims to dispel common myths and misconceptions, help bursars understand what to prioritise when looking at net-zero as a whole, and highlight the biggest carbon emitters found […]

Phase 4 Public Sector Low Carbon Skills Fund: Portal to Open at 2pm on 26th April

Salix Finance has announced that Phase 4 of the Public Sector Low Carbon Skills Fund (Phase 4 LCSF) will be open for applications on Wednesday 26th April at 2pm. The Department for Energy Security and Net Zero has set aside £17 million with the goal being to best prepare public sector bodies for the next […]

ReEnergise Attends the AGBIS Annual Conference and the GSHPA Members Day

Doubling up for the first shows of the year: two events, two days, and two ReEnergise employees. At the end of March, Nigel and Ollie attended both the AGBIS Annual Conference and the inaugural GSHPA Member’s Day. At the AGBIS Annual Conference, Nigel and Ollie had the opportunity to speak with many independent school governors […]

The April 2023 Energy Bills Discount Scheme. What do Schools Need to Know?

Out with the old, in with the new. On the 1st April, the Energy Bill Relief Scheme (EBRS) ended, and non-domestic energy contracts have automatically been moved onto the newly announced Energy Bill Discount Scheme (EBDS). This means that any school who signed their energy contract on/after the 1stDecember 2021 were already be on the […]

Nigel A-F talks to a client at the Schools and Academies Show

Last Thursday evening marked the round-up of the Schools and Academies Show at the NEC in which, over the space of one fast-paced day, Nigel and Ollie were able to have some interesting conversations with delegates from all over the country about their schools’ future net-zero objectives. It was exciting to speak to so many […]

HMC/IAPS Enlightened Education Conference Highlights

“Net-Zero? Yes, I’m keen; but what does this mean for my school?” Earlier this month, Nigel held a session at the HMC/IAPS Enlightened Education conference in Edinburgh to discuss exactly this. In his live poll, 69% of the attending Head Masters said they were interested in Net-Zero but had little grasp of what it meant […]

Ground Source Heat Pump installation at St George’s College Weybridge

PRESS RELEASE – February 10th 2022 Borehole drilling is completed at 900 kW ground source heat pump installation at St George’s College Weybridge As part of its Zero-Carbon Schools initiative, managing contractor ReEnergise is transforming the carbon footprint of St George’s College Weybridge in Surrey, installing four Viessmann heat pumps  Initial groundworks have been completed […]

Government Net-Zero Policy for Heat and Buildings on School Estates

Introduction This article is an update on recent UK Government policy developments regarding net-zero, especially concerning the heating of buildings. The purpose is to highlight those issues that will most influence what independent schools need to be doing over the next few years. UK national policy remains to achieve net-zero by 2050. This is enshrined […]

St James C of E Primary School, Elstead – Estate Decarbonisation Strategy

In September 2020 ReEnergise was approached by the governors of St James School – a local Surrey school which is grant maintained by the Diocese of Guildford. A screenshot of the overhead view of the school estate is shown above, to give a sense of the scale and layout. It is a straightforward site in […]

Heat Decarbonisation Plan (HDP) – Kingston Maurward College

In January 2020 ReEnergise was tasked to undertake a feasibility study for the decarbonisation of heat at Kingston Maurward College, a Further Education college in Dorset with an aspiration to achieve net-zero by 2025. The college intent was to get the entire estate converted to a low-carbon heat technology. We followed our now standard study […]

Worth School & Worth Abbey Biomass District Heating System Nearing Completion.

After 7 months of construction work on site, the Worth School and Worth Abbey biomass district heating project is nearing completion. The project includes the installation of a new 1.6MW biomass system, comprised of two 800kW wood chip biomass boilers, 1.5MW LPG backup system and ancillary equipment in a new energy centre building, along with […]

Climate Change: Why Schools and Academies Need to Get on the Front Foot

Walk with me a moment, Dear Reader, and I’ll share a useful nugget or two about how to approach the climate change issue in your school, college, or trust. Foraging around the media recently I found some useful snippets. The first is a note from our own Public Accounts Committee in parliament. For context, remember […]

ReEnergise Supports the Pump it Up Campaign for Heat Pumps

ReEnergise has joined the Pump it Up Campaign as the education specialist, to highlight the challenges and issues schools face in trying to decarbonise the generation of heat on their estates. The Pump it Up campaign is calling on the government to do more to support large-scale heat pump projects. Heat pumps, allied with a […]

Low-Carbon Heat Project nearing completion at Royal Alexandra & Albert School.

Eighteen months since the project kicked off, work is nearing completion on the Royal Alexandra and Albert School low-carbon heat project which the company is project-managing. The project consists of heat pumps in 13 plant rooms serving 18 buildings, with a total capacity of 2.2MW. It will save 750,000 litres of heating oil and 2,300 […]

STOP PRESS: Changes to Non-Domestic RHI Support and Covid-19 Response.

The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) have announced another 6-month extension to the qualification deadline for the Non-Domestic Renewable Heat Incentive (NDRHI) for smaller projects not eligible for a tariff guarantee (TG). ‘Smaller’ includes any biomass project less than 1MW and any ground source heat pump project less than 100kW. This means [...]

How One School Solved A Covid-19 Social Distancing Headache

How One School Solved A Covid-19 Social Distancing Headache (and sorted out its carbon footprinting and SECR liability) James Andrew, Estate Bursar at St Oggin (the Endless Redeemer) College in Plymouth gazed out to sea. He was indeed a lucky, lucky man. After several years’ service in the Senior Service he had scooped this dream […]

Comments on BEIS Consultation on Future Support for Low-Carbon Heat

With the closure of the Non-Domestic Renewable Heat Incentive for Low-Carbon Heat projects fast approaching (closure date is March 31st, 2021), Nigel Aylwin-Foster, Director Zero-Carbon Schools and John Murphy, Chief Operating Officer ISBA have made a joint response on the following two BEIS (Department of Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy) consultations:- Future Support for Low […]

Reflections on Climate Change and the Independent Education Sector

A Call to Arms. A cynic might say that any independent school that takes climate change seriously should invest more time in training its combined cadet force than in decarbonising its estate and promoting sustainability. Read on and I shall clarify. These days I read as much as time permits about the science behind climate […]

Criteria for Securing a One-Year Extension for Completion of Low-Carbon Heat Projects

This bulletin gives an update on policy developments during April 2020. It gives more definitive guidance about the UK Budget and steps being taken to protect projects during Covid-19 constraints. UK Government Announcement: 28th April The Government has been reviewing ways to assist organisations, including schools, to maintain momentum with low-carbon heat projects in the […]

Energy Purchase Agreements: Useful if a School is now Worried About Cashflow

The RHI subsidy, combined with a net reduction in operating costs from the installed low-carbon heat technology, will usually achieve a significant net saving for schools on oil and just about achieve break-even for schools on gas. The main advantage will be that the converted buildings will have a much-reduced carbon footprint: it is the […]

Opening of the first 2 GSHP plant rooms at Royal Alexandra and Albert School

The first phase of an innovative renewable energy system was switched on at the Royal Alexandra and Albert School today.  As well as being cost-effective the new Ground Source Heating system will mean the School no longer relies on 755,000 litres of oil each year to heat the School and boarding houses.  Two boarding houses now […]

Working Towards Zero-Carbon Status in Schools

In last month’s ISBA bulletin we reminded readers aspiring to achieve zero-carbon status on their school estates that it is essential to complete any required conversions to estate heating systems before 31st March 2021, if it is to be done affordably, because that’s the date that the UK Government subsidy regime that supports conversions to […]

Phase 2 Energy Savings Opportunity Scheme – Compliance complete.

ESOS is run by the Environment Agency (EA) and is intended to encourage large organisations to achieve energy savings, by forcing them to go through a process of formally identifying energy savings opportunities and reporting on them to the EA. Large organisations are deemed to be those that either employ more than 250 people or […]

Ali Frankley and the Meaning of Chocolate

October 2025:  In this exclusive interview with Ali Frankley, who has been bursar of Fandangle Hall School since 2020, we learn that as well as doing all the other herculean tasks that form the typical lot of the bursar, she was recently awarded an MBE for making Fandangle Hall the first true zero-carbon school. (see […]

What Is a Combined Heat and Power System?

A Combined Heat and Power (CHP) system is a small power plant that captures the waste heat produced whilst it’s generating electricity and makes it available as useful heat: hence the name – it gives you usable heat and power; and it does come more or less ‘in a box’, funnily enough. The supermarket equivalent […]

An Introduction to Ground Source Heat Pumps

What Is a Ground Source Heat Pump? A ground source heat pump (GSHP) is a system of heating, or cooling, using the heat from the ground. It is made out of a series of pipes buried underground, which transfer the heat from the earth into your home. How Does a GSHP Work? Below the surface […]

Royal Alexandra & Albert School en Route to Net Zero-Carbon Heat

The Royal Alexandra & Albert School, a state boarding school for over 1000 students in Surrey, has been progressing through the ReEnergise risk-reduction process for a low-carbon heat project since January this year. The school is now embarking on a pilot installation of ground source heat pumps into two boarding houses. If that is successful, […]

Zero Carbon Schools by 2025? Talking Frankley, it’s entirely feasible.

This article was commissioned by the ISBA for the July 2019 edition of The Bursars Review. July 2020. Fandangle Hall School. Somewhere in the UK. Ali Frankley, new-ish Bursar of Fandangle Hall School on her first assignment after the ISBA[1], had developed a worrying recurring dream. In it, she is running alongside a herd of […]

News Round-Up: May to July

It’s been a while since our last newsletter, mainly because we’ve had so much work on that the sales and marketing team have been co-opted into project management tasks, to keep up with the pace. But it’s been a period of significant milestones, both nationally and for us as a company. Here are just a […]

Climate Change Action Plan at Charterhouse School

Charterhouse School is keen to promote a low-carbon agenda. This has become an important issue nationally and within the school. Charterhouse pupils have launched their own action plan to make the school more sustainable, ranging from a greater emphasis on sustainability in the school’s strategic plans, to a number of more immediate suggestions. Everyone is […]

Let’s talk about the Schools Low-Carbon Programme (SLCP)

This time last year we were busy working with a school on the initial stages of a low-carbon district heating project, that would have seen the entire school estate coming off oil. The scheme was set to save the school about £3 million over the next 20 years. But it didn’t happen in the end […]

Yes Prime Minister.

Number 10. Prime Minister’s Office. 17th February 2019. Prime Minister at her desk, prepping for PMQs. Enter Private Secretary. PS. Prime Minister, the children are going on strike. PM. Which ones? Labour or our lot? PS. No, no Prime Minister, the school children. They’re going on strike. PM. Oh for goodness sake! Isn’t there already […]

Completion of 50kW Solar PV array at Ditcham Park in time for the FiT application.

We completed the installation of Solar PV power generation on the roof of the sports centre at Ditcham Park School over February half term. The school centre was chosen over other buildings following a study by ReEnergise which found it offered the best opportunity based on the structural strength of the roof, the south-facing aspect, […]

Nigel A-F explains to a delegate at Energy Expo that ground source heat pumps can work perfectly well in leaky old buildings.

It was good to meet so many landowners last week at the Energy Expo in Telford.  Energy Expo is a business event for agricultural and rural communities of the UK, providing in depth information and guidance on renewable energy generation and use, diversification ventures, and low-emission vehicle and machinery options. Many of the landowners we […]

CLA sponsored breakfast – Community Energy Seminar at Firle Vilage Hall

ReEnergise sponsored a CLA Breakfast Seminar to talk to CLA members about Community Energy – how it works with a low-carbon technology district heating system, and how to finance it. It was great to see so many landowners at the seminar and the genuine interest in district heating systems. Thanks go to Robin Edwards, Director […]

Barlavington Estate Solar PV Installations

The Barlavington Estate near Petworth is a 3,200 acre diversified rural business which embraces agriculture, woodlands, residential and commercial property. It is a picturesque estate in the South Downs National Park with a keen focus on environmental management. The owner of the estate is on the board of the National Park Authority and is well […]

Schools Low-Carbon Programme

An initiative to achieve low-carbon energy installations for schools and other estates on oil, at the least possible risk and without the requirement for capital investment. ReEnergise is currently contacting schools and rural estates that use oil for heating, to gauge interest in a new financing scheme that we hope will provide the catalyst for […]

Trumpton: Episode 2. After Hurricane Harry

Mayor Trump has called a meeting in the market place. He is looking quite angry today. ‘Ahem. Some people here, bad people, have caused a trail of chaos and destruction in the town. It’s bad. Very bad. My new conservatory has been totally totalled. Gone. Not a conservatory anymore.’ Yes,’ said Mr Troop, the Town […]

Firle Village Community Funded District Heating System

We are working with Brighton and Hove Energy Services Cooperative (BHESCo) towards providing the village of Firle in East Sussex with a community funded district heating system (DHS) providing both heat and domestic hot water (DHW). The village is off the main gas grid and the majority of properties are currently heated using oil boilers. […]

Repton School Solar PV Installation

We have completed a 50kW solar PV project for Repton School. The work started with modelling of options and feasibility studies for the school’s sports hall. We used the school’s energy usage figures to find the optimum solution in terms of cost and benefit, which resulted in the proposal of a 50 kWp solar array. […]

Trumpton: Episode 1. A spot of Local Unrest

Mayor Trump has called a meeting in the market place. He is looking quite angry today. ‘Ahem. Some people here, bad people, have posted a petition on the front door of the Town Hall. They say they want more action on climate change. Bad. Very bad. In particular they want me to close down the […]

Sherborne Girls – new Arts Centre

Sherborne Girls School is building a new Arts Centre. Being a performing arts centre the school was keen to have a heating and cooling system that was very quiet in operation. Also being a state-of-the-art building assembled with low-carbon in mind, the school were keen on a heat pump solution. At ReEnergise we have supported […]

Farm Business Innovation 2018

It was great to see so many landowners at the Farm Business Innovation show in the NEC, Birmingham last week. Such an engaged and knowledgeable audience with an appetite to get off oil and look at how renewables might fit into their forward programme. We talked to over 70 delegates on the different opportunities for […]

Solihull School First Solar PV Array Completed

A shot of two of the arrays in the new 50kW solar PV installation at Solihull School. This was modelled and project-managed by ReEnergise over the Summer.  The subsidies are now being arranged. Once done, the vital statistics will be: Saving in Year 1 on energy costs: £7,000. Payback: 9 years. Net benefit over 20 […]

The IPCC Report is Arguably the Author of its own Failure.

What we really need is Die Hard 2030 starring Bruce Willis in his most knife-edge car chase yet. Two weeks ago I suggested that the IPCC report is partly to blame for the ambivalent reaction it has so far received in policy making quarters and the general disinterest in the popular press. Outrageous suggestion? Read […]

Kevin Costner’s Waterworld Gets One Step Closer to becoming Reality

By now everybody must know that the IPCC published a report on Climate Change last week. The gist is that we really do need to keep the rise in average global temperatures down to only 1.5 degrees above pre-industrial levels if we are to avoid a lot of trouble; and to do that we need […]

Farm Business Innovation Show on 7th/8th November.

We’re exhibiting at the Farm Business Innovation Show on the 7th & 8th November 2018 at the NEC, Birmingham. The show is free to attend and you can register for your free ticket on Visitors can choose from 200 free inspiring and insightful seminars including leading sector case studies and top industry role models […]

Seminar for CLA members on renewables in a post-subsidy world.

Thank you to the Country Land and Business Association (CLA) members who attended our seminar last week on the future of renewables in a post-subsidy world. We were fortunate to hold the event at The Grange, home to The Grange Opera Festival in Northington, Hampshire. Interesting talks were given by Tarquin Henderson and Bean Beanland […]

♫♬ The Sun Ain’t Gonna Shine Anymore ♫♫

Remember that song by the Walker Brothers? Of course, it ain’t true – it’s gonna go on shining and shining and shining. What they should have written was that the Government subsidies for solar PV aren’t going to go on forever, but they couldn’t get the words to fit the melody so they compromised. In […]

Why ReEnergise is Rehearsing Shakespeare

ReEnergise is currently running a concerted campaign to raise awareness about renewable heat. For shameless attention grabbing in schools, the theme is Shakespearean and tongue in cheek. But the underlying rationale is perfectly serious. Here is the opening from Episode 5 just to give you a flavour. Oh Romeo, Romeo, wherefore art thou Romeo? Down here. […]

Firle Village District Heating System

Following an initial feasibility study we conducted in 2017, we are now working with the Firle Estate in East Sussex and community energy specialists, the Brighton & Hove Energy Services Cooperative (BHESCo) to build a comprehensive technical study into the options available to take this beautiful South Downs village off fossil fuels through the installation […]

Stephen Tindale Climate Answers Charity launch

We were delighted and honoured to be asked to speak at the launch of the Stephen Tindale Climate Answers charity in London in June.  Stephen was an important and highly valued friend and colleague who tragically took his own life in July 2017.  A man of utter integrity and huge influence, Stephen was one of […]

New Government policy means it’s time to get estates off oil.

Recently declared Government policy is that oil is to be removed from the fuel mix for rural estates by 2030. Seems a long time away, but we already know that the deadline for new systems to qualify for the current 20-year heat subsidy regime is 1 April 2021. The implication is clear enough: schools and […]

Renewables – A Minor Tragedy in the Independent Education Sector?

The Prologue. Since we started working in the sustainability industry in 2010 we’ve talked to hundreds of independent school Heads and senior managers. Some common themes have emerged regarding the curbing of energy usage and getting off fossil fuels, and it has all the makings of a minor tragedy: Senior managers are frequently concerned about […]

Energy Costs Benchmarking for Independent Schools

At the 2017 ISBA conference we collected data from 53 schools on their annual energy costs. The purpose of this exercise was to establish benchmarks on energy usage per pupil, taking account of fundamental differences such as boarding/day, or percentage of boarding. Using this data, we created a model to work out the cost of […]

The Importance of Project Timing in a Subsidy-Driven Market

For one school in particular this has been a significant issue this year (2017). In September 2016, the Bursar at Lucton School in Herefordshire asked us for a feasibility study on the relative merits of installing a biomass system on his estate. The estate was on oil, so we were sure there was potential; but […]

What is going to happen to energy prices in the next few years?

Predicting what energy markets will do is no easier than predicting any other commodity. Indeed, simply working out what the price of energy has been in the past is difficult, because there is so much data available, presented in so many different ways, to suit so many differing vested interests. Nonetheless, some general trends are […]

Financing of renewable installations

ReEnergise Finance has had a busy Summer of 2017 with two transactions in particular placing our Lease Finance offer competitively at the forefront of the 3rd-party finance market. Through our growing relationship with Societe Generale, we have supported Lucton School with the finance for the installation of a new biomass district heating system with repayments […]

A Jedi is no match for a Bursar

Jack Marriner’s[1]Tesla parked itself silently in his allotted space, outside the Bursary at Fandangle Hall School. As he got out he had that sense that today was going to be no ordinary day. ‘Therefore just like every other day in the Bursary’ he thought wryly, as he walked inside. As he entered he could hear […]

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