Schools in England will soon be able to do as households do and shop around for the best deal on their gas and electricity, after the government unveiled a new price comparison website especially for them.

State-funded schools in England spent more than £584m on gas and electricity, as per figures from 2016/17. The average secondary school racks up around £90,000 a year in energy costs.

Currently, schools have to go via energy brokers to find the best deal, but they typically charge high fees of anywhere up to thousands of pounds per year.

Announcing the new School Switch service, Education Secretary Damian Hinds said that the move is part of an overall mission to help schools reduce the £10bn-plus a year they spend on non-staffing costs.

“By saving money on their energy bills and avoiding high broker fees, the more money schools will have to spend on what really matters – getting the best teachers into classrooms and giving their pupils a great education,” Hinds explained.

He added that the new initiative builds on the School Resource Management Strategy, launched by the government last year, which provides help and support for schools to reduce cost pressures and make every pound count.

The comparison tool will provide quotes at a click of button from various energy companies, designed especially for schools.

The Department for Education claimed that schools have already managed to make savings of up to 14% via its existing energy deals – the price comparison site should result in even greater efficiency.

But is there a further opportunity for all education establishments to make even greater savings on their energy costs by going all-in on renewable energy? Every school, college, university and academy trust has the potential to generate its own renewable energy by making the most of its roof space and installing solar PV.

Zestec has worked with a number of schools to help them realise savings from renewable energy using its fully funded solar power purchase agreement (PPA) model. To find out more about how to double-down on energy savings, call the Zestec team on 01202 862760 or email us at