Bexley Business Academy is a “flagship” Academy, whole-heartedly engaged in managing its energy consumption and applying savings to its education objectives. In 2011, the Academy installed a 558.6kW solar PV array, generating around 45% of its electricity needs. This was followed by a biomass system funded early in 2013 by AFM Solutions and, more recently, a retrofit LED replacement program financed again by AFM.

The Requirement:
Bexley has been earnestly looking to reduce its lighting costs; the existing lighting was 10 years old T5 fluorescent tube technology. In deciding on the replacement technology, the Academy would also be dealing with the cost and inefficiency of increasingly high failure rates on the original lighting ballasts and the constant failure of fluorescent tubes. There is no doubting the efficiency, the long term reliability and the high quality of light emitted by LED but the cost is a challenge and Government funds are hard to come by.

The Solution:
The Academy decided to implement a retrofit solution funded by AFM. We structured an Operating Lease under UK GAAP, assisted with the technical and accounting issues and provided funding for the complete LED installation. Jane Stanley, FD at Bexley, is pleased with the finance solution arranged by AFM:

“By working with AFM, not only did we get the operating lease we needed but we also benefitted from assistance throughout the project. Graham Seeley of AFM was there from the start, advising on modelling for the finance against savings, working with 8point3, the LED supplier and Mears Group, our installer. AFM again provided the right finance at the right time”.

The Benefits:
The 8point3 LED solution with controls and management systems, offers reliable, low cost, low maintenance lighting; meanwhile, the lighting quality is significantly enhanced helping both teachers and students. All of this leads to improvements in the educational environment and, through AFM’s lease, a cash neutral financial solution. Specific benefits include:

  • Electricity savings of around 75% p.a.
  • Carbon reduction of 125 tonnes per year
  • Improved lighting to help better learning
  • Improved control of lighting
  • Reduced maintenance cost: estimated by the Academy to be around £25,000 per annum
  • Massive estimated net lifetime savings of £662,811
  • The project is immediately cost neutral for the initial 7 year lease period and generates significant gains after this