When It Happens Panel Get involved: send your photos, videos, news & views by texting 'OXFORD NEWS' to 80360 or email
Ex-student finds power to give schools the best deal
When Amy Edwards left university two years ago, she really wanted a job in the energy market, but most of the roles on offer were too technical.
She said: “Both my parents are self-employed and after I had done my degree in geology and physical geography, I helped my dad with some work.
“He works with schools as an IT consultant, so I was visiting schools a lot and talking to teachers.”
Schools converting to academies have to negotiate their own energy deals, leading some to buy direct from the ‘big six’ — the UK’s main power suppliers.
Ms Edwards said: “School buildings are so inefficient with their energy that I started talking to schools about their energy needs.
“It’s complex and difficult and they have other priorities, so it seemed like something that we could save them money on.”
Now she has set up a not-for-profit co-operative called Energy for Education (e4e), run from her family home in Blewbury, to buy power supplies for schools.
She has qualified as a non-domestic energy assessor and has lined up a broker to handle the energy tendering process dealing with power generation and gas supply companies.
She said: “At the moment, the options for schools are either the big six or to join a local authority or Government framework.
“With that you get a better deal than with the big six, but you won’t get the very best deal.
“We want to bring schools together to buy energy collectively, at the times when they use the most power, not at weekends.”
The venture, which will supply 100 per cent renewable energy, is being funded by Ms Edwards’ dad John, who runs 3e Associates, and his colleague Mark Stevenson.
“The plan at the moment is to get as many schools as possible signed up,” said Ms Edwards.
“As a not-for-profit company, one of our goals is to reduce schools’ carbon footprint.
“Once we get up to some sort of volume, we will shift focus to help schools increase energy awareness. When we have enough members, we will hand over control to the co-operative and they will decide what we spend our profits on.
“We hope to use some of our profits on developing learning res-ources for students about energy.”
As well as green energy, her other passion is cheerleading, a hobby which has taken her to the international championships in Florida.
Ms Edwards, 23, is delighted the first school to sign up for the venture is St Birinus Boys’ School in Didcot, where she studied in Didcot’s joint sixth-form, having started her secondary education at Didcot Girls’ School.
Comments are closed on this article.