Somerset village school scoops £10,000 in Utilyx Schools Energy Challenge

Students come up with energy saving ideas for school swimming pool

Pupils at Chewton Mendip Primary School have been awarded top marks in a nationwide energy-saving competition. 

The Energy Team at the Somerset school, which was made up of five children aged 7-11, came up with ideas to help save energy used by their swimming pool. They were presented with a cheque for £10,000 at a school assembly by organisers of the Utilyx Schools Energy Challenge.

The swimming pool, which is used by the whole village community, will now benefit from a new solar cover to keep the heat in and save energy. The cash will also be used to improve the efficiency of the pool’s boiler and solar thermal system.

The Schools Energy Challenge, jointly run by Mitie’s energy consultancy Utilyx and the Mitie Foundation, invited schools around the country to come up with innovative energy saving ideas. 

Claire Rice, Head teacher of Chewton Mendip Primary School, said: “I am thrilled that the Energy Team has scooped this prestigious prize. I know the hard work which was involved in their presentation and I am very pleased their efforts have been recognised.”

The Utilyx Schools Energy Challenge also encouraged students to inspire behavioural change through simple actions such as switching off lights and ensuring radiators are not blocked. Chewton Mendip has already implemented energy saving measures including using solar power to help heat its outdoor swimming pool and installing a water meter to monitor energy usage.

Stephen Barthorpe from the Mitie Foundation, an independent charity which works to enhance employability, encourage enterprise and inspire young people, said: “We’ve been so impressed by the engagement and enthusiasm of everyone at Chewton Mendip. The pupils have come up with a simple but cost effective solution for their swimming pool which will save energy and help reduce the school’s energy bill.”