The Client

Marks Gate Junior and Infant School in Romford is a high achieving school with aspirational leaders and recently well rated by Ofsted inspectors, with around 660 pupils aged 4-11.

The Brief

The larger than average school, part of the Eco Schools initiative that focuses on encouraging pupils to be active in sustainability, was contacted by SaveMoneyCutCarbon to discuss energy-saving opportunities. The new business manager was keen to reduce energy costs and also the high maintenance costs of the school lighting in both the junior and infant sections.

He was aware of the Salix interest-free loan funding scheme and wanted to pursue that option to minimise costs with maximum savings. The lighting retrofit would also improve the quality of light throughout the school.

The Solution

The school commissioned a detailed survey and identified areas for energy savings through efficient LED lighting as well as replacing toilet hand dryers with eco models. SaveMoneyCutCarbon then discussed in detail the findings with the finance manager to confirm the exact specifications for the project. With project scope agreed, the expert team at SaveMoneyCutCarbon fully managed the lighting retrofit, including survey, specification, installation and testing.

It used its extensive experience of energy-saving projects in the schools sector to guide and complete the complex Salix Finance funding application with the school business manager. This secured an interest-free loan to cover project costs, with repayments financed by savings on energy bills.

Lighting costs reduced 71%
Self financing payback in 8 years

The fully DBS-checked installation team worked with the school to ensure minimum disruption to the timetable, replacing over 450 lights and fittings with quality LED equivalents from Thorn, Philips and JCC, including panels, linear battens, tubes, bulkheads and external lamps.

LED was selected as the preferred light source as it offers far superior energy efficiency and light quality compared to fluorescent and the now banned halogen models. For example, the project replaced fluorescent tubes that only last 5,000 hours on average with the light quality degrading badly well before final failure.

Quality LED products are exceptionally reliable, with a working life of between 40,000 to 50,000 hours of continuous usage, helping to make big savings on maintenance costs.  Peace of mind is provided by a no-quibble, five-year manufacturers’ warranty.

The team also installed new, lower-energy Veltia eco hand dryers in all the school toilets and these will reduce energy use there by 77% with rapid payback.

“SaveMoneyCutCarbon was a massive help in completing the Salix funding proposal and the installation team was professional and responsive. Overall, we were very pleased with the project and improved quality of lighting and we will make further big savings with greatly reduced maintenance costs as LEDs have a much longer working life. Replacing tubes and ballasts over a three-year period previously cost the school £12,000. The benefits are considerable and we’ll act as an example school to other school business managers in the borough to demonstrate what can be achieved.”

Simon Ward, Mark’s Gate School business manager

“The big energy savings being made by the school are a great example to other business managers of what can be achieved with self-financing loans and expert teams. Mark’s Gate is now a pathfinder school for the borough, with every school able to reduce its energy costs and so free funds for educational resources.”

Prince Sofunmade, London regional sales manager at SaveMoneyCutCarbon


  • 71% reduction in lighting costs
  • Savings of £7,465 per year
  • Carbon footprint reduced by over two-thirds
  • Self-financing payback period: 8 years
  • Maintenance costs reduced

Annual Savings

  • 7,465

    £ saved

  • 8

    months payback

How much could our services save you?


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