Energy saving in the public sector
Energy saving tips for hospitals, schools, colleges, universities, local councils and government
Save precious resources for where they’re needed
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Recommended temperatures for public sector buildings
  • Offices 19–21°C

  • Classrooms 18°C

  • Sports hall and corridors 15°C

  • Areas for very young children 21°C

Check your thermostats and controls regularly – every 1°C of overheating increases fuel consumption by 8–10%
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Public sector heating systems
  • Switch off heating for the last hour of the day – the building should retain its heat for that time

  • Use time switches so heating is only on when the building’s in use

  • Encourage staff to use window blinds to retain heat in winter and keep it down in summer

  • Regularly service boilers to retain efficiency and consider replacing units over 15 years old

Properly insulate your roof – a building loses 22% of its heat through its roof
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Lighting
  • Opening window blinds to utilise daylight could reduce lighting bills by 19%

  • Use movement detectors, time switches and daylight sensors

  • Encourage staff to switch lights off when they’re not needed

  • Install energy-efficient lights – LED lights and compact fluorescent products use 80% less electricity than conventional light bulbs

If windows, skylights and light fittings are not kept clean, light levels can fall by up to 30% in three years
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Water
  • Hot water should be stored at temperatures above 60°C to avoid bugs like legionella

  • Cold water should be kept at a maximum 20°C

  • Ensure pipework is well insulated to prevent heat loss

Fitting taps that turn off automatically (percussion taps) can lead to major energy savings
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Air conditioning
  • Don’t waste energy by heating and cooling areas at the same time

  • Switch off heating in office areas when it reaches 20°C

  • Only turn on air conditioning when the temperature is over 24°C

  • Only turn on air conditioning when the temperature is over 24°C (1)

Regular air-conditioning services help keep your system running efficiently.
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Ventilation

  • Install variable-speed drives in your fans

  • Ensure air recycling is optimised, particularly when there aren’t many people around

  • Ensure air recycling is optimised, particularly when there aren’t many people around

Variable-speed drives can reduce the running costs of fans and pumps by up to 30%
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Electrical equipment
  • Install variable-speed drives in your fans

  • Ensure air recycling is optimised, particularly when there aren’t many people around

  • Consider investing in high efficiency equipment for your heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems

Turning off vending machines at night and weekends reduces their energy costs by 70%
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