Innovative Energy Efficiency Programme, the Energy Accelerator, Supports Beckfoot Trust Schools in Bradford to Save over 280 Tonnes of CO2 per Year 

18 August 2021

The West Yorkshire Combined Authority and Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership ’s (LEP) Energy Accelerator  is the only programme of its kind anywhere in the UK, designed to help low carbon and energy efficient projects become a reality where they may otherwise not have been completed due to a lack of capacity, expertise or funding. 

The Beckford Trust in Bradford comprises of primary, secondary and special educational needs schools; it uses a total of over 13.5 million KWh of gas and electricity per year. The Energy Accelerator supported the Trust to significantly improve its energy efficiency, reduce its carbon emissions and its running costs for its buildings through an energy saving retrofit, including solar panels, new double-glazed windows, a new boiler and replacement water heaters, investing over £37,500 into the project with a resultant capital expenditure of over £1,170,000. The retrofit measures are expected to save 1.32 GWh of energy, 282 tonnes of CO2 and £95, 000 per year. 

Over the last three years, the Energy Accelerator has attracted over £49m of capital investment and saved over 8,000 tonnes of carbon annually, supporting the  Combined Authority and LEP’s commitment  to tackle the climate emergency and make West Yorkshire a net-zero carbon economy by 2038. 

This green initiative has provided technical support to 22 low carbon and energy efficiency projects across the region including a street lighting project in Bradford, the installation of ground source heat pumps within heritage buildings across Calderdale, including the Town Hall, the Bankfield Museum and Brighouse Library, as well as the energy saving retrofit at the Beckfoot Trust in Bradford. 

Tracy Brabin, Mayor of West Yorkshire, said: 

“I have pledged to make West Yorkshire a place where everyone can enjoy the economic, health and environmental benefits of a net-zero carbon economy by 2038, and the Energy Accelerator is an important step towards reaching that ambition.  

We’ve already committed £800,000 to our Net Zero Region Accelerator, a scaling up of the Energy Accelerator to develop and deliver more sustainable projects that will boost green jobs, restore nature, tackle air pollution and the climate emergency. 

I’m glad we are supporting the Beckfoot Trust to become greener and more sustainable, and that they’ll be able to reinvest the money they saved thanks to these new energy efficiency measures towards improving the life chances of their pupils.” 

Sir Roger Marsh OBE DL, Chair of the LEP and NP11 Group of Northern Local Enterprise Partnerships, said: 

Ahead of COP26 and following the UN’s recent Climate Emergency report, it is more important than ever that we take steps to actively tackle the climate emergency and safeguard our environment. I’m pleased that through the Energy Accelerator, we’ve been able to support the Beckfoot Trust’s efforts to create a greener and improved study and working environment for pupils and staff, and put in action our shared ambition to reduce carbon emissions and protect the environment.”  

Chris Burland, Operations Director, Beckfoot Trust said: 

“As part of our commitment to the improvement of energy efficiency in our buildings we have invested over £1m in energy conservation measures at six of our schools.  This phase of work is nearing completion with installation of insulation, LED lighting, efficient water heaters and boilers and solar PV panels having been completed over the last 12 months. 

The long-term cost savings from the installations mean we can channel more of our funding into improving outcomes for Bradford students to make our aim of creating remarkable schools a reality in all our settings.  

We are grateful for the support from the Energy Accelerator to enable us to scope, plan and procure these works to a dedicated team across our Trust and the project managers and contractors at Ameresco for their planning, collaboration and driving this work forward. They have worked sensitively and flexibly over the last year under Covid working conditions.  

We are excited about the opportunities to use these newly installed systems, such as solar PV, to educate and inspire our young people, and the wider community, about the environment, climate change and sustainability as we approach Climate Change Conference of the Parties, COP26, in November this year.” 

The Energy Accelerator has now come to an end and will be scaled up to become the Net Zero Region Accelerator, a multi-year programme developing and delivering sustainable projects that will boost green jobs, restore nature, tackle air pollution and the climate emergency.  

The Energy Accelerator is funded by the Leeds City Region Growth Deal and ELENA – a joint initiative by the European Investment Bank and the European Commission under the Horizon 2020 programme. The Energy Accelerator is delivered in partnership with Turner & Townsend, The Carbon Trust and Sweco.