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Data analysis to reduce energy use and assess PV potential (Birchgrove Comprehensive School)


SPECIFIC supported Birchgrove Comprehensive School to target reductions in energy consumption and to analyse the potential for solar PV installation.

Birchgrove Comprehensive School in Swansea is on a mission to understand and reduce their energy use and carbon emissions.

The school was constructed in the 1990s. Upgrades are needed to the double-glazed windows and the gas heating system, but the school is considered relatively modern by the local authority and not scheduled for renovations in the near future.

However, they have identified potential improvements and sought independent advice from SPECIFIC to assess and target priorities.

In 2018 they first engaged with Energy Sparks. Since then, visibility of their energy use has helped to significantly reduce overall energy consumption and help them operate more efficiently.

The school had made good progress in reducing electricity consumption, and was considering solar PV to further reduce their carbon emissions and energy costs.

SPECIFIC provided an initial assessment of solar PV generation potential using the existing roofscape of the school. Batteries were also considered but, as most of the solar generation would take place during the summer when the school is largely unoccupied, a balance of self-consumption and export was prioritised.

SPECIFIC also analysed the data from the last six years available from Energy Sparks and was able to provide several recommendations for further reductions in energy use.

This knowledge will arm the school with the data and confidence to have meaningful discussions with the local authority and potential PV providers.

Whilst working with the school, SPECIFIC also ran some workshops for pupils. It is hoped that engaging the pupils in understanding energy within their school buildings will provide them with knowledge and interest to reduce energy consumption at home.

Project partners: Birchgrove Comprehensive School, Swansea


  • To determine areas for energy savings in the school by examining the current electricity and gas consumption and providing recommendations for improvement.
  • To assess the impact installing PV will have on the energy consumption and carbon emissions.
  • To involve the schools’ pupils to help them understand energy within their school buildings.


  • The school has a better understanding of their energy consumption, priorities for reducing energy consumption the most effectively, and the optimum size of PV array to meet their energy needs.
  • SPECIFIC provided the school with an interactive tool to enable them to investigate the impact of different energy saving activities on their overall consumption, and to assess the impact of different sized PV arrays.
  • Analysis of PV potential will aid discussions with the local authority and PV installers.

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