School LED lighting upgrade to free 1,000s a year for pupil-focused activities

Case study


Blessed Hugh Faringdon Catholic School, a high performing secondary in Reading, was looking for help to improve energy efficiency, light quality and free up funds for educational activities.

The co-educational school of 860 pupils which includes a thriving Sixth Form of over 130 students is maintained by the Diocese of Portsmouth, who graded it "Good with outstanding features" in 2013.

One element that needed improvement was the aged and inefficient lighting, with some older units dating back to 1958 when the school was built. The quality of light was not uniform or effective and maintenance of the aging technology was also high.

The school was introduced to SaveMoneyCutCarbon through the Diocese, which had met the energy efficiency specialists at an educational event and readily agreed to become the first Diocese of Portsmouth school to undergo an LED lighting upgrade.

Using interest-free funding from Salix Finance, the school was able to take advantage of a site-wide retrofit from SaveMoneyCutCarbon, with funding repayments covered by energy savings.


SaveMoneyCutCarbon managed the entire retrofit from survey to specification, installation, testing and monitoring as well as completing the Salix funding application on behalf of the school.

  • The LED retrofit will reduce lighting bills by more than 57%
  • Carbon footprint will be cut by similar amount – 57%
  • Full Salix financing at zero interest means the project should be self-financing over seven years.
  • Funds freed up for investment in educational activities


The school targeted three areas in the lighting project:

  • Energy efficiency – making savings on lighting bills
  • Improve light quality – some areas inadequate
  • Sustainability – carbon emissions reduction

Quality LED lighting is highly reliable, requires little or no maintenance in comparison to existing lighting solutions and provides the user with between 40,000 to 50,000 hours of continuous usage. Incandescent light bulbs typically last around 1,000 hours and fluorescents are good for roughly 5,000 hours before light degradation occurs.  LEDs are also low or no maintenance which is an additional benefit to the school as the lights will not require changing as often and all of the lighting was fully supported with a no quibble 5 Year manufacturers’ Warranty.

The SaveMoneyCutCarbon Field Services team replaced more than 1200 panels, tubes, 2D fittings, downlights and lamps across the whole school, including corridors, classrooms and the canteen. The library area was a focus and the librarian was particularly delighted with the much improved quality of light.

The 600x600 panels were a mixture of surface mounted, suspended and recessed units and necessitated a bespoke fitting to be made specifically for this project. The team also installed LED tubes in high quality school approved fittings, a range of GU10s, MR16s and small bayonet cap lamps.

One main challenge overcome was the need to complete the works during the school Easter holiday period, which gave a narrow opening to carry out the retrofit and increased pressure on the installation team.


Ann McDonnell, the school Business Manager says: “The quality and consistency of light has been greatly improved and staff have commented on how much better it is. In the corridors and the classrooms the light quality is wonderful. The whole school has been lifted by this. The site controller and team will also benefit through spending much less on lighting maintenance.

“We’re very pleased with the installation and particularly the way SaveMoneyCutCarbon managed the process, dealing promptly with the challenges you would expect from a large retrofit such as this.”

Mark Sait, CEO of SaveMoneyCutCarbon says: “Financial pressures will continue to be a pressing challenge for the foreseeable future and every education institution has to deliver the best learning facilities on a limited budget.

“As the LED retrofit at Blessed Hugh Faringdon Catholic School clearly demonstrates, a comprehensive, astute assessment of energy use and an effectively managed installation will free funds for the whole school’s benefit.” 

About SaveMoneyCutCarbon

SaveMoneyCutCarbon is a full-service efficiency partner for businesses and consumers who want to save energy and water and cut ever-increasing utility bills. 

Its UK-wide field services team supports larger and more complex business needs by providing full consultancy and installation services, backed by expert knowledge and first-class customer service. The business works with a wide range of clients, including hospitality groups such as Carlson Rezidor and The Hotel Collection, property ownership groups, distribution centres, theme parks and corporate offices, as well as SMEs and households.



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