Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council – Embedding Energy into the Curriculum
Learn how one Solihull school used Stark to target areas of waste and to help deliver a successful ‘switch off’ campaign that led to a 25% reduction in energy consumption.
“Stark’s reporting platform has become embedded in our daily energy management strategy for schools and corporate bodies.”
Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council is based in the West Midlands. Keen to innovate, the council became one of the first in the UK to install Automated Meter Reading (AMR) devices on their schools’ gas and electricity supplies. This led to the ‘Schools Carbon Reduction Programme which over four years helped 100 schools to reduce energy consumption.
The council’s aim in installing AMR was to provide school bursars, staff and pupils with insight into their schools’ energy consumption. Beyond that, the council sought to embed energy awareness and management skills in the hearts and minds of primary school children. To meet these challenges, Solihull needed a turnkey provider of AMR data collection and an energy management platform, so went to tender in January 2010.
Stark’s AMR & energy data services
Stark’s ability to provide a comprehensive solution for AMR metering and energy reporting made their response stand out. After winning the tender, Stark installed 197 electricity AMRs and 171 gas AMRs in corporate and school buildings. The combination of Stark’s industry leading data collection services and online reporting platform, Stark has empowered Solihull’s schools to identify and implement energy saving opportunities.
Embedding behavioural change in schools
The council’s ‘Schools Carbon Reduction Programme’ began in July 2015 with a presentation to 25 schools on the benefits of AMR and behavioural change. In September 2015, ‘out of hours’ workshops were held where students investigated what equipment had been left on overnight and took the action to switch off any that were non-essential. Workshops with the children were delivered by the council’s Energy Officer on how to interpret AMR data using Stark’s energy analytics platform, allowing pupils to see the impact of their initiatives.
Sharmans Cross is a Junior School with approximately 350 pupils aged 7-11. Before 2014, the school’s energy bill was approximately £20,000 per year. In 2014 an Eco-Committee comprised of both staff and pupils was set up. By using Stark’s library reports to target areas of wastage and encouraging their colleagues and friends through a ‘switch off’ campaign, the school achieved a 25% reduction in energy consumption and made a saving of £6,795 off its total energy bill.
The success of the council’s gas and electric AMR project has led to them trialling Water AMR. Stark continues to provide a hands-on service, producing new customised reports in collaboration with Sarah Evans, Energy Officer at Solihull Borough Council.