Cedars Academy is a specialist school for young people aged three to 19 with physical, sensory and medical needs; language and communication disorders; autism; and a wide range of other complex needs often associated with emotional vulnerability.
The Gateshead-based school is cherished by the local community, who support its aim to nurture, inspire and prepare pupils for life – a mission encompassed in its strapline “Fit for Life”.
Cedars Academy had passed the end date for their energy contracts for their Walker Terrace facility, which provides education for young people over the age of 16. As a reflection of their record of excellent practice, the Academy was keen to keep a handle on its outgoing costs. In a climate where education establishments are receiving less funding than ever, reducing running costs is essential.
Cedars Academy enlisted the help of nearby cost reduction specialist Great Annual Savings Group (GAS) to assess expenditure and determine whether they could improve their position at Walker Terrace. The fact that the Academy had run onto out-of-contract rates allowed GAS to get to work quicker and make an immediate impact.
Out-of-contract rates are currently under attack from the government in the residential energy sector, where they are known as ‘standard variable tariffs’. Energy regulator Ofgem is planning to cap their price as part of the government’s new legislation. But this doesn’t take into account the commercial energy sector, where they are still rife and businesses are expected to be able to circumnavigate them on their own. But this can be tricky!
GAS acted fast to secure significantly improved rates on the Academy’s gas and electricity contracts, saving 35% on each.
With no contract in place, these went live immediately and savings began the following month. Cedars College were pleased enough with the outcome to invite GAS to assess their energy expenditure at their other facility elsewhere in Gateshead. Work is ongoing to generate even more savings for the College.
- Significant savings of almost £10,000 on energy rates for their Walker Terrace facility
- A new three-year energy contract and support managing the contract to manage future market conditions
- Help with any other areas of expenditure that the Academy is looking to reduce costs
- Cost predictability provided for the next three years in an uncertain funding climate for UK Academies
“The monetary saving we’ve been given is obviously a major boost for us, as it would be for any business. But the time saving has been equally well-received.
Great Annual Savings took the hassle out of the situation for us and delivered a significantly improved contract that helps us plan our expenditure into the future.
I look forward to continuing working with GAS.”
Michelle Gray, Finance Director
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