Launching ACES

Our Action on Carbon and Energy in Schools (ACES) programme launches to help schools cut energy use and save money on their energy bills.

We have launched a new energy efficiency support service to help Oxfordshire schools reduce their energy demand, cut carbon emissions, and reduce their energy bills by supporting them to improve the energy efficiency of their buildings. 

The service is in partnership with the Environmental Information Exchange team (EiE) at Oxford Brookes University who are experienced in delivering energy efficiency solutions for schools, businesses, and communities. It is funded by Oxfordshire County Council.

Schools face a number of barriers to energy and carbon reduction while having high potential to demonstrate leadership now and in the future. Our team is looking forward to helping maximise their efforts through a flexible programme that reflects limited time and resources.

Michael Esvelt, Director of the Environmental Information Exchange at Oxford Brookes University

This exciting initiative contributes to our council’s commitment to reduce Oxfordshire’s carbon footprint, and to making learning more relevant for pupils. We know young people are passionate about living in a sustainable world. Many of the classrooms they sit in will now become greener. This will help make lessons about the environment relevant and engaging. It truly is a win-win.

Councillor Pete Sudbury, Oxfordshire County Council’s Cabinet Member for Climate Change Delivery and Environment

The programme, free to Oxford County Council maintained schools, will offer:

  • energy audits for selected schools highlighting the changes that will benefit school buildings
  • one-to-one support creating bespoke energy efficiency plans
  • access to webinars and workshops
  • funding to cover simple measures such as boiler room insulation. 

Academies will also have access to selected support measures.

Carbon Emissions

Energy use in buildings accounts for a large proportion of our carbon emissions in the UK. In Oxfordshire, the Oxfordshire County maintained schools alone contributed 5,238tCO2e in 2020/21, which is 31.1% of the councils total reported corporate emissions. Therefore, making cuts to energy use can make a big difference to Oxfordshire’s overall carbon emissions.

Financial Benefit

Energy use is also a significant portion of a school’s annual spend, often only second to staffing. 

Making changes to our school buildings can significantly reduce energy demand and help schools save money on their energy bills so they can put more money to work in educational resources.

Health and Wellbeing

Making energy efficiency changes to schools can also improve the comfort of buildings for staff and students. Children spend much of their waking lives at school so providing buildings which are safe and warm is crucial for their health. 

We are delighted to be working on this new project to help schools reduce their energy demand, which will make their buildings cheaper to run and more comfortable to use well into the future. Low Carbon Hub already works with over 30 schools across the county who have installed community-owned solar panels on their roofs so they can benefit from the green electricity generated on site. ACES complements that work brilliantly as we look to address the crucial part of the puzzle in tackling climate crisis that is energy demand reduction.

Barbara Hammond, CEO, Low Carbon Hub

Schools are encouraged to sign up for the free webinars and workshops on offer to find out more about how they could start their energy reduction journey.

There is a launch event at 5pm Wednesday 13 July 2022 that any Oxfordshire school is welcome to attend to find out more. Contact for details.

Find out more about this service on their website here.