Awareness of our integral relationship with the world we live in is essential to the Beshara School and the education it offers. We are therefore committed to running the School in the most sustainable way possible.
Sustainable energy for Chisholme – our action plan
We want to continue to educate ourselves in how best to live in a sustainable way.
We want to continue to look at our behaviour and our habits, and change them as necessary.
We want to work towards realising all possible energy saving measures, including insulation, draught-proofing, double-glazing, secondary glazing.
We want to investigate and realise different sustainable ways of energy generation.
In 2005, energy audits were done to work out where and how energy could be saved. At that time most of the heating requirements were met by individual kerosene boilers (although some small woodburners were being used), and electrical needs (including additional heating) through diesel generators. This meant significant carbon emissions and financial commitments. Following these audits, a number of interventions led to an increase in efficiency (low energy bulbs, some insulation measures, etc.), but actual generation of power was still to be addressed.
In 2008 funds were secured from the Energy Saving Trust, which helped to install a wood-fuelled district heating system, along with a wood processing and drying store and significant improvements to the insulation levels in the main house and Steading.
These changes also meant that a direct and very practical relationship was established between the Chisholme Estate and the school. A suitable supply of dry wood now needs to be secured on an ongoing basis, which involves 'many hands' in the estate's forestry sections, and creates a link between the physical work of fuel harvesting, and considerate use of heat at the consumer end.
Turning to electricity, a wind-turbine system is under investigation. Initially, the drawbacks of no grid connection meant that the project could not stand by itself. In 2012 a grid-link was established, this now means that electricity is (relatively) cheaper than with use of a generator, emissions are reduced, and a useful step towards an on-site renewable energy project has been made. It also calls for an increased awareness, from everyone at Chisholme, of our energy usage.