Learn-AT School Project – Renewable energy feedback needed for Harborough area
Learn-AT a local trust is taking action to tackle climate change and save money. You can have your say on community energy in the Harborough area. We have created a short online survey for parents, students, residents and anyone in the Harborough area to have their say. It should take you no more than 5 minutes – your input will be held securely and only used by us anonymously [survey now closed].
Harborough Energy received a £39,984 grant from the Rural Community Energy Fund via the Midlands Energy Hub in Nottingham. This grant is supporting Harborough Energy in our work with Learn Academies Trust (Learn-AT).
We are assisting the trust to identify environmentally friendly solutions to the heating and electricity needs of the 8 rural schools in the trust. They have a number of different buildings, roof configurations and heating systems and therefore different needs – some of the schools are without mains gas. In order to offer a range of viable solutions, we required funding to appoint a specialist energy consultancy to carry out feasibility studies for the schools. Following a competitive process, we selected NEP Energy Services as our partner for this project. They are part of Nottingham Energy Partnership, a charity focused on fuel poverty and renewable energy. Their main skill base is around energy efficiency, renewable energy, project management, community engagement and reporting.
Whilst this will be our first project with the schools of Learn-AT, Harborough Energy already operate 170kW of community owned solar PV. This has provided significant savings on energy costs for Woodnewton School (Corby), Archway Health Hub (Harborough) and NBJ Joinery (Husbands Bosworth) that host the systems, as well as building up a longer-term community benefit fund.
Learn-AT and Harborough Energy are both locally based organisations working to improve our communities across the local area. Based on them taking up some or all of the study’s recommendations, we will work in partnership with the trust to implement them so the schools receive a reduced rate for their energy use. We encourage our partners to become members of the not-for-profit cooperative, so that they can be better involved with the management of the organisation and decision making about community benefit.
All our directors are volunteers with a connection to the local area and wish to see an improved local environment – where people are at the centre of energy production, usage and management. Peter Jones OBE, one of the Harborough Energy directors, said the news was “brilliant” and that the grant will allow Learn-AT to benefit from us taking a place–based approach to each school. The project will also include outreach work in schools to raise awareness about career opportunities in the low carbon sector.