Helping schools in Scotland become net zero

Helping schools in Scotland become net zero. We worked in partnership with Alpha Highlands to reduce CO2 levels by 252 tonnes in 2023.

What did we do?

To meet the client’s ambitious targets in becoming net carbon zero by 2030, we implemented an ambitious LED lighting project and delivered this across all 11 schools successfully within a year. The program has helped reduce energy consumption in buildings, saving 252 tonnes of CO2 in 2023 and 2024 will see projected savings of 112 tonnes of CO2.

Communication was key for this project. We conducted consultations with students, staff and health and safety personnel to ensure the right lighting would make a positive difference to working conditions.

An initial trial was carried out at Millburn Academy. It’s constant and heavy footfall maximised the number of people experiencing the proposed new lighting and Passive Infrared Sensor (PIR) System (a system which triggers the lights as required).

Feedback was positive and respondents noticed a significant improvement and enjoyed the added ability to dim or brighten the lights as needed.

Following the initial trial, we analysed the financial aspects and benefits for the client to indicate the savings in costs, CO2 reduction and commitment to their net carbon zero plan over a five-year period.

Over 15,902 sqm of LED lighting was used along with approximately 12,682 light fittings.

The use of LED lighting has also meant that maintenance costs are lower as they last five times longer than the fluorescent equivalent.

Key highlights

· Our LED solution projects full year CO2 (T) savings for the schools of 364 tonnes, circa 36%.

· We negotiated a ten year warranty deal with Edmundson Electrical for our LED fittings by sourcing and reviewing the wider lighting market options suitable for our requirements.

· We ensured all schools were fully operational and disturbance was kept to a minimum whilst we carried out the works.

· We ensured all schools were compliant with LUX Levels.

Since starting the project in January 2023 and having staggered rollout throughout 2023, we have already seen an average reduction in KWH consumption of 25% and a reduction of CO2 by 25%.

The new PIR System has also helped reduce energy costs by automatically turning lights off in unoccupied rooms and dimming them in response to daylight levels.

Key achievements

· Over 1 Million KWH has been saved over 2023.

· In the last nine months of 2023, we reduced CO2(T) levels by 25% across the schools, equating to 252 tonnes.

· We reduced KWH consumption by 25%.

· The LED initiative played a key part in the project being recognised at the 2024 Partnership Awards where we have been shortlisted in the Best Operational Project category.

· We educated staff and students on ways to reduce CO2 levels.

· We are expecting to reduce consumption by another half a million KWH and 112 tonnes of CO2 in 2024.

A teacher at Dingwall Academy commented:

The new LED lighting has not only helped us reduce our energy levels but has made the school a lot brighter. Mears FM installed the new lighting swiftly with no disruption to the school’s operations.

The team were friendly and even educated the children and staff on how we can help improve our carbon footprint. Thank you so much.

A teacher at Milburn School commented:

It’s great that Mears FM is helping us achieve our ambitious net zero targets and taking the carbon management of the school so seriously. The new LED lighting has made our teaching area so much brighter.

Mears’ FM team is continuing its success to assist clients achieve their net zero carbon targets by having rolled out LED lighting initiatives in St Andrew’s Hospital in Fife.

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