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 energy per equivalent boarder per annum and produced graphs and charts to circulate to each participating school, so that they could see where they sat in relation to the rest of the sample.

Below is an example of the bar chart produced for the schools (as at July 2017), without the labelling (to provide confidentiality to the schools), and without energy costs because that is confidential to us.

There are different charts for boarding schools and day schools, to reflect the major differences in circumstance.

These results are obviously quite raw: some key factors such as location in the country and local weather conditions have not yet been factored in. However, even at this early stage it seems clear that there is a wide variation amongst schools, which cannot all be explained by local conditions. Over time we want to gather enough detail and schools on the database, so that the benchmarking becomes a reliable guide to what is really going on in the sector. The more schools involved and the more refined the data, the more useful the results will be to participating schools.

Would you like to join our research?  There is no cost to joining and you only need to email me: [email protected] the following data:

  • Number of children at the school (& the number of boarders, if applicable).
  • Annual heating cost and annual electricity cost, including VAT.
  • Are you heating on mains gas, oil, LPG, or some other type – e.g. electric heating?

If you wish, it would also be helpful at this stage to hear any thoughts you may have on issues that particularly influence your energy costs.

All data we receive will be put into the model, and updated charts sent out so that the school can see where it sits in the wider scheme of things, with all the actual costs included.