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South Staffordshire College staff and students collaboratively reduce energy consumption 

June 2023

Turning off light switch

South Staffordshire College is celebrating a huge reduction in its energy consumption, thanks to a joint effort between its staff and students to be more energy conscious.

This academic year to date, the college has been able to successfully reduce its gas consumption by 519,000 KWHs and electricity consumption by nearly 130,000KWHs. That’s equivalent to the mass of a blue whale! To put this saving into an everyday example, a kettle could be boiled approximately 8,653,333.33 times with the combined KWH saving of gas and electricity seen at the college.

The college has plans to become a carbon neutral organisation so lowering energy consumption plays an important contribution to the achievement of this goal.

The estates team at the college are leading the college community in its ‘green plans’ and have worked hard to educate and encourage both staff and students to switch lights and equipment off when not in use and at the end of each day, which has resulted in significant savings.

In addition to this, the estates team have also done lots of work to review heating schedules and the temperature within the buildings to make sure it’s warm enough for people to learn and work without using excess energy. This has made a huge difference to gas usage. The estates team have also insulated boiler houses across each of the college sites to help reduce the amount of heat lost making them more energy efficient.

On top of the great efforts made by the college community to reduce energy consumption, the college has also invested £200,000 with support from an energy reducing grant from the ESFA to switch traditional lighting to LED lighting. LED lighting uses around 90% less energy than traditional light bulbs as reported by Phillips which has played an important part in lowering the college’s energy consumption. LED lights also last around 25 times longer than a conventional light bulb so this will also help the college to reduce purchasing costs and costs associated with maintenance.

South Staffordshire College, like other businesses across the UK, has battled high inflation and the soaring prices of gas and electricity. As a result of the combined efforts of staff and students and the investment into energy-saving lighting, the college has successfully reduced its energy bill by £130,000 this academic year to date.

John Snow, Deputy Principal, Finance and Resources said “I am proud of what our college community has been able to achieve by working together. The small changes both staff and students have made have really delivered big results. There is always more we can be doing to take us a step closer towards our carbon neutral ambition, so we’ll be looking at other technology we can invest in to help us achieve this as well as initiatives the wider college can support with.