Energy Efficiency

Building improvements

The Energy Team are always looking for projects with the potential to save energy in council buildings across East Sussex. Below are some examples of the types of projects that we have carried out in the past. If you would like to find out more about any of these for your school or if there is another energy saving project you would like to investigate, please contact us.

  • Lighting – controls, LED upgrades
  • Insulation – cavity wall, loft, pipework, draught-proofing
  • Boilers – upgrades, oil to gas conversions, controls

Almost all of our energy saving projects are fully or partly funded by an interest-free Salix loan with no upfront cost.

Find out more about a Salix loan here: internal energy funding.


LED Lighting Upgrades - Cut Your School's Lighting Costs by 50%

We are now taking bookings for a limited number of FREE energy efficient lighting surveys.

30 East Sussex schools have already upgraded to low energy LED, typically saving 50% on lighting electricity and maintenance costs AND improving lighting in the learning environment.

Local electrical contractors Chris Bartholomew and Corin Dudley have been appointed to carry out FREE site surveys to provide an energy efficient lighting specification, costs and payback. ESCC energy & maintenance teams project manage the works from start to finish.

Lighting improvements can usually be achieved with no upfront costs, instead they are funded through a combination of East Sussex County Council’s Carbon Reduction budget and an interest-free Salix Loan, repaid over 5-10 years. Salix works by using money which you would have spent on your lighting energy costs to pay off the interest free loan. This funding offer is only open to ESCC maintained schools, however, the Salix Loan can easily be transferred should the school convert to Academy status during the term of the loan.

Surveys are FREE to ESCC maintained schools but if no project results then ESCC does have to pay for the cost of the survey, so please only sign up f your school (including board of governors) is serious about investing in improved lighting efficiency.

For more information contact Janette Ackroyd or Paul Hardman in the Energy Team: Tel: 01273 336168


LED Lighting Upgrades & Salix Funding - FAQs


Feedback from Schools:

Newick Primary School - where the school’s electricity consumption post LED upgrade fell by 29%:

“Many thanks to everyone in the energy team for your support with this project. I can say that it has been an overwhelming success and we look forward to seeing our energy savings going forward” - Denise Taylor. School Business Manager Newick CE Primary School. May 2019.

Click here to read more about this project.


Rocks Park Primary School - where the electricity consumption reduced by 18% following installation of the LED lighting:

"The actual lighting looks fantastic and we can't believe how long we were unaware of how dark the building actually was before! In short, we are absolutely thrilled with the contractor and with the result.” - Rose Blaauw, Bursar, May 2019.

Click here to read more about this project.


Salehurst CE Primary School - projected savings of £1,200 per year

"The Energy Team were extremely helpful when applying for this loan making the application relatively pain free. The new lighting has reduced consumption/energy spend and there has been minimum maintenance necessary on the lights which rarely need replacing. With ever hiking energy costs and our ethical duty to reduce our carbon footprint, I would recommend the install of LED lighting with a SALIX loan to any school." - Jackie Buckingham, Business Manager

Click here to read more about this project.


Priory School - projected cost savings of £12k per annum

"I have been delighted with the results of this project. Not only has there been a reduction in the energy consumption but we have uniform lighting throughout the school and the premises staff do not have to spend time changing light tubes." - Ian Fines, Bursar - November 2019.

Click here to read more about this project.


Ashdown Primary Infants School - 24% reduction in electricity consumption

“The support that the Energy Team gave to underpin my argument to the Governors to make the investment in a Salix loan to upgrade our lights to LED was so helpful. The process was so easy as the Energy Team handle all the organisation of the installation, all I was required to do was attend site meetings and ensure that access was available during fitting. In the first year our school has seen a 24% saving on our electricity use, which far exceeds the annual cost of the Salix loan.” - Lorna Isted, Business Manager - September 2019.

Click here to read more about this project.


Parkside Community Primary School - 16% reduction in electricity consumption

"We're pleased with the outcome of the upgrade - improved quality of the lighting, no continual purchase of light tubes and caretaker time in replacing them. There is an obvious reduction in our usage and our energy bills, as well as the other cost and time savings mentioned - so we're happy!" - Graham Holland, Bursar, November 2019

Click here to read more about this project.


Burwash C of E Primary School - 20% reduction in electricity consumption

"We are extremely happy with the LED lighting upgrade. We have definitely saved money on our energy bills and we have also found that the children and staff are now better at turning off the manually operated lights as they are used to lights going off when not in use. I would thoroughly recommend the LED upgrade to any school who is considering it." - Debbie Gilbert, Headteacher, January 2020.

Click here to read more about this project.


Sandown Primary School - 11% reduction in electricity consumption

"We are in no doubt that our electricity savings are mainly due to the new LEDs. Besides financial benefits, the lighting turns on automatically when entering and moving around the school, and the majority of the lighting will turn itself off. The upgrade provides a bright environment for both staff and pupils." - Susan Poole, Business Manager, January 2020.

Click here to read more about this project.


Harlands Primary School - 21% reduction in electricity consumption

"The decision to replace our lighting was prompted not only by a desire to save energy and money but also in the hope of providing pupils and staff with a lighter, brighter learning environment. We have not been disappointed! Our thanks go to the contractor and the ESCC energy team for all their support with this worthwhile project." - Emma Ellwood, Business Manager, January 2020.

Click here to read more about this project.


Buxted C of E Primary School - 17% reduction in electricity consumption

"We undertook the new lighting project throughout our school building and the results have been very good. The light quality is crisper and more evocative of daylight. It has reduced the glare produced by the old lighting and created a working environment that is brighter, more modern looking and more efficient. The overall look of the ceilings is clean and modern and overall we are very pleased with our new lighting." - Emma Ellwood, Business Manager, January 2020.

Click here to read more about this project.

Solar panels

Solar PV systems can now be funded using a Salix loan. If you would like to investigate this further, please contact the Energy Team.

You may be aware following previous VSB communication, that the Council has been undertaking a review of the delivery of Solar PV on schools. As freeholder of the respective maintained school sites, the Council is required to sign a 25 year Lease with the Provider for the air space above parts of the School to enable the project to go ahead. The respective schools then sign a Power Purchase Agreement with the Provider to buy the electricity produced by the panels at a cheaper rate than the mains supplier.

The review has now been completed and we attach a draft new form of 25 year Lease which addresses the long term building/panels liability to the Council.

This Agreement provides for a school to receive electricity without charge or at a discounted rate in exchange for which the Solar PV Provider will receive the Feed In Tariff (FiT).

The Feed in Tariff scheme is will no longer be available from April 2019.

If you would like to purchase electricity generated in this way then please note that the attached Lease should be issued by your Providers at the commencement of communications. We are aware that certain Providers are happy to work within the terms of the appended Lease and equally there are some Providers who cannot meet the terms and conditions. Please notify the Council Property Department of your chosen Provider, it may assist you to forward an advance copy of any Power Purchase Agreement for our information and in advising you further. The Energy Team will continue to assist you in obtaining energy consumption information.

Further guidance

Energy saving guide for schools

Our guide outlines good energy housekeeping actions to help you save energy at your school with little to no cost.

The Carbon Trust

The Carbon Trust has also developed some documents with detailed guidance for schools on saving energy:

Energy Saving Fact Sheet

Schools Sector Overview - Learning to improve energy efficiency

A Whole School Approach - Involving the school community in reducing its carbon footprint

Conducting an Energy Walk-round of a School

School Walk Around Checklist

Have a go and feel free to contact the Energy Team if you need any support.


Let’s Go Zero brings together UK schools who want to be zero carbon, are reducing their own climate impact, and demanding greater UK government support to achieve this goal. The campaign will show national government that there is a substantial demand amongst teachers and pupils to become zero carbon, with the potential for schools to catalyse wider change in their communities.

By joining the campaign, a school is publicly declaring that they want to be zero carbon, and that it wants the UK government to enable schools in the UK to take more action on this issue.

They will soon be releasing an online tool to help schools with their ongoing action planning.

The Ashden LESS CO2 programme

This is a free programme that supports schools across the UK to reduce their energy use, engage with their staff and students about energy, and teach about sustainability. LESS CO2 is run by Ashden, a charity that champions and supports leaders in sustainable energy to accelerate the transition to a low-carbon world. It is a very worthwhile programme in which lots of schools in East Sussex have participated. If you are interested in taking part please click the link above to register your interest or contact the Energy Team for more information.

The Pod

The Pod is an education programme designed by EDF Energy to promote sustainability and energy saving in schools. Its aims are:

  • to inspire young people and their families to choose a more sustainable lifestyle.
  • to promote STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) and encourage science and engineering as a career choice.
  • to help children understand that a low carbon, secure and affordable energy supply is vital for the future.

Energy Sparks

We are looking for primary and secondary schools to join a free trial of Energy Sparks, an online energy analysis tool and energy education programme specifically designed to help schools reduce their electricity and gas usage through the analysis of smart meter data. Energy Sparks helps pupils and the wider school community to reduce their school’s carbon emissions, and make a real contribution to addressing the 'climate emergency'. Further details about what Energy Sparks can offer your school can be found in this flyer and on their website.

The Energy Sparks trial across East Sussex will be free to participating schools for the 2020/2021 school year through funding for Energy Sparks from the OVO Foundation. This will include free access to the online Energy Sparks tool and a half day in person energy education support visit to kick start your school’s involvement with the programme. Contact Paul Hardman on if you would like to join the trial.