Regulations and taxes
There are an increasing number of energy- related regulations and energy taxes that are directly relevant to educational establishments, which aim to achieve reductions in the environmental impacts from buildings.
The Climate Change Levy is a tax applied to energy used in the non-domestic sector (industry, commerce, and the public sector). The aim of the Levy is to encourage these sectors to improve energy efficiency and reduce emissions of greenhouse gases. Businesses and public sector pay the Levy through their energy bills.
The EU Emissions Trading Scheme controls carbon emissions from larger energy using plants such as boiler houses. This legislation might apply to some of the larger FE sites. All the latest energy legislation can be found on the website of the Department of Energy and Climate Change.
The EU Energy Performance of Buildings Directive aims to deliver substantial reductions in carbon dioxide emissions from all buildings, both domestic and nondomestic, by 2010. Since October 2008 the Government has implemented the Directive through the requirement for all buildings to have an Energy Performance Certificate whenever a building is built, sold or rented out. All buildings occupied by a public authority or visited by a large number of people with a total floor area over 1000m² will be required to have a Display Energy Certificate showing its energy performance. Regular inspections of boilers and air conditioning units, and re-evaluations of building performance, will also form part of the requirement.
CRC Energy Efficiency Scheme (formerly known as the Carbon
Reduction Commitment) is the UK's mandatory climate change and
energy saving scheme, due to start in April 2010. The Scheme
is central to the UK’s strategy for improving energy
efficiency and reducing carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, as set out
in the Climate Change Act 2008. It has been designed to raise
awareness in large organisations, especially at senior level, and
encourage changes in behaviour and infrastructure.
The EAUC has produced an Insight Guide to inform institutions about the CRC Energy Efficiency Scheme. Click to launch the Insight Guide.
Help and advice
There are 7 major areas where carbon reductions can be made:
In a poorly insulated building one-third of the heat is lost through the roof, ceiling and walls. Big savings in costs and carbon can be made through insulation and draught exclusion.
Savings can be made through cutting back on stand-bye, energy saving light bulbs, lights operated on sensors and central operation of air-conditioning.
Buying materials with a low carbon footprint, energy efficient equipment and local food will have a significant impact on the carbon output of colleges. Quick saving could for example be made in the reduction of paper usage.
Travel plans that encourage cycling, public transport and car
sharing could cut carbon outputs significantly and contribute
directly to the local community through lessening of air pollution
and traffic congestion.
Sustrans, a leading sustainable transport charity, works with schools to establish cycle routes and improve public transport. The Energy Saving Trust is the main source of information, advice and support on ways to improve your transport management.
Taking waste to landfill is not only costly, but has also a large carbon footprint. The EAUC has published an on-line Waste Management Guide specifically aimed at educational institutions. Alternatively WRAP (Waste & Resources Action Programme) offers useful information.
Water has a carbon footprint too, because energy is used for transportation and for filtration of grey water and sewage. Savings can be made trough the recycling of grey water and rainwater harvesting.
Effective monitoring energy usage
Smart metering is designed to provide information on a real time basis about energy and water consumption. This system not only reveals user behaviour, but could also identify leaks and inefficient usage of resources.
Continue the journey
More information about carbon reduction and case studies can be found in the Buildings and Estates section.