Net Zero Accelerator

Net Zero Accelerator

Leading the rapid rollout of decarbonisation initiatives across the education estate

Contact the NZA Team

The vision for the Net Zero Accelerator is to create a service that funds and delivers decarbonisation initiatives across the education estate. Still in its early stages, the aim is to provide responsible bodies with a low burden service to address the net zero challenge, whilst reducing running costs and improving condition.

If you have any questions about becoming a partner in the Net Zero Accelerator, please contact

The context

  • UK Government has committed to achieving net zero by 2050
  • The education estate represents 37% of total UK public sector building emissions
  • 70% of English school floor area built before 1976
  • The DfE estimates the spend on energy will be over £1.7bn in this financial year.
  • The school estate in England covers approximately 514 million m2 (circa 127,000 acres).

The vision

The Net Zero Accelerator will facilitate the rapid rollout of decarbonisation initiatives across the education estate 

  • The vision is to create a new service that supports educational bodies (including schools schools, multi-academy trusts, local authorities, and FE colleges) to decarbonise their estates
  • Specialist teams will oversee the delivery of interventions including behaviour change programmes, M&E upgrades, energy efficiency measures, energy generation and heat decarbonisation
  • We are exploring how this could be supported by a finance scheme.

The programme

  • Phase one: NZA feasibility study explored the potential:
    • identified decarbonisation efficiencies across 50 schools
    • proposed technical interventions
    • created strategies for scaling up the programme
    • identified opportunities to align climate education with delivery roll-out
  • Phase two: NZA pathfinder appointing two partners to lead the decarbonisation of two batches of 25 schools delivering:
    • a detailed decarbonisation plan
    • a programme of behavioural change
    • optimisation and installation of controls
    • optimising energy procurement
    • data collection and capture including reporting via a dedicated platform.

The scope for future stages will depend on the output of the initial stages.

Progress to date

Phase One – Feasibility

  • Market engagement session held on 15 August 2023 with nearly 300 attendees
  • 150 downloads of ITT for NZA feasibility study
  • 31 bids received from potential delivery partners
  • Five partners selected
  • 250+ schools applied
  • 50 schools chosen
  • feasibility studies completed in January 2024

Net Zero Accelerator Summit

  • Net Zero Accelerator Summit held in February 2024Two delegates walking past a sign for the Net Zero Accelerator Summit into the venue
  • brought together over one hundred leaders from education, sustainability, government, finance, construction and technology
  • delegates heard from LocatED’s five delivery partners who conducted a feasibility study for the NZA
  • over 40 Delegates also took part in four focused roundtables throughout the day, discussing and debating a range of decarbonisation issues

Phase Two – Pathfinder

  • Market Engagement session held on 24 April 2024 with over 150 attendees
  • ITT issued on 17 May 2024 with a submission deadline of 17 June 2024



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