waterwise bathroom schools water efficiency learn2save image by Flickr user ANOXLOU



What is Learn2save?

Learn2save is a pilot water efficiency Spend-to-Save fund set up by Waterwise, Aqualogic and Sutton and East Surrey Water (SESW).

The fund pays for water efficiency works in the school, with the money repaid from the actual financial savings the school makes from the relative reduction in water bills.

A fixed payback amount and period will be agreed at the outset, based on a comprehensive payback analysis. The actual water bills of participating school will be based on the average consumption from the previous year. This will ensure the annual cost is actually cost-neutral.

Once the repayment period comes to an end the school/establishment keeps the ongoing savings. For example, installing urinal controls normally pays for itself within two years and will continue to deliver financial and water savings to the school/establishment for twenty or more years.

  • The payback also will cover administrative costs of the scheme which will be clearly explained and itemised at the outset.
  • Prior to the capital works the school will be given a free water audit highlighting the areas for saving the possible works and payback period. Receiving the audit will not oblige the school to enter into the scheme.
  • In addition there will be an opportunity to include additional elements such as water saving packs and education materials for the pupils and in-school monitoring equipment showing water use.
  • Other benefits to the schools will include reductions in CO2 emissions and savings in energy bills due to the reduced requirement for heating water.


Learn2save: Working with schools


Each participating school will have a free audit funded by SESW. This will provide a report on consumption levels and where savings could be made. The best performing schools will be given a certificate of excellence.

The lower performing schools will be offered the chance to join the Learn2Save scheme. 

The Learn2Save scheme is run by Waterwise and has three elements:

  • A water efficient device retrofit programme
  • A rainwater harvesting programme – this will not be available in the pilot scheme as the finances are not well enough understood to provide a robust offering to schools.
  • An education package with in-school activities and monitoring and feedback


Learn2save: How does the financial mechanism work?

SESW will negotiate an agreement with the school, this agreement will provide the funding for the capital works. The school will be taken out of SESW’s measured tariff basket and will have its bill pegged at the average of the previous years’ consumption for a predetermined set period but subject to a price increase each April.

At the end of the set period the school will return to the measured tariff basket and will pay the standard charge per cubic metre, but their actual bill is likely to be lower because of the water-saving devices installed.


What should schools expect?

SESW plan to offer each school in their supply area an audit. This will provide information on how, where and when the school uses water, it will also identify any potential leaks and areas of waste and will provide a suggested action plan for improvement. This action plan will cover fitting water efficiency devices and leak repairs.

In some circumstances the schools will already have a high performance and any potential retrofit will neither be necessary nor cost effective; these schools will be given a certificate of performance. However, most schools will be offered the chance to enter the Learn2Save scheme.


For more information on this Learn2save pilot please contact Ike Omambala