Cheney School in Oxford is the first in the world to achieve Energy Conscious Organisation (EnCO) status.

Cheney School – part of the Community Schools Alliance Trust – has become the first school to achieve EnCO status after demonstrating to an expert panel they have reduced energy consumption through behavioural change initiatives across the organisation.

Rob Pavey, headteacher of Cheney School, said: “This recognition is so important in the wider context as it demonstrates the role that behaviour change has to play in the fight to reduce climate change and our own pathway to Net Zero.”

The schools energy consultant, Wendy Cheeseman, added: “I recommend all schools to consider cutting energy consumption by more forensic analysis of their supply data showing when and why energy is consumed and if this is expected.

“Cheney cut overnight consumption by 30%.”

Ms Cheeseman is an accredited EnCO practitioner and has been supporting the school through the project which has also generated significant energy cost savings, as well as carbon reduction.

The project has been led for five years by both the finance and operation teams and supported by the headteacher and staff.

As well as this, it has been supported by Oxfordshire-based energy management consultancy Reduce Your Use.

Cheney School received the accreditation certificate at a special online ceremony on Thursday 29th July from Mervyn Pilley, the executive director of the Energy Services and Technology Association (ESTA).

Jes Rutter, MD of JRP Solutions and EnCO expert panel interviewer, said: “The Cheney School application and accompanying case study showed the school had followed the principles of behaviour change namely: engagement, alertness, skills, recognition and adaption as set out in the EnCO matrix.

“In both application and case study the school gave many examples of how these principles have been applied in practice and achieved energy efficiencies with impressive reductions.”

The Energy Conscious Organisation (EnCO) is a not-for-profit joint initiative run by the Energy Services and Technology Association (ESTA) and supported by the Energy Institute.

The EnCO initiative has a target to reduce energy consumption by 10% from behavioural changes by 2030.