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Green school scheme will go ahead despite funding uncertainty
8:00am Monday 23rd April 2012 in News
A COUNCIL scheme to make schools greener will go ahead despite uncertainty over funding.
The Low Carbon Schools Programme will cost £113,281 to introduce at secondary schools and a further £8,670 for primary schools.
But with some schools looking at becoming academies it is unclear what would happen to the council’s funding for the scheme as they are not funded by local authorities.
Clr Linda Dirir, executive board member for climate change, said: “We can’t let the academy threat stop us from doing something so important. We really need to get head teachers and governing bodies on board.
“Without schools our carbon emissions were reduced by nine per cent last year, but when you include schools that figure drops to 6.5 per cent, so you can see how important it is to get schools involved.”
Primary and secondary schools emitted a total of 13,559 tonnes CO2 last year, accounting for more than 40 per cent of the council’s carbon footprint.
The scheme aims to shave 13 per cent off emissions from schools over the next four years, as part of the council’s efforts to tackle climate change.
On top of making schools greener the plan also aims to slash energy bills, which totalled £2.6 million in 2011.
It is hoped the cost of the programme to each school could be repaid in four years and the council says energy bills could be reduced by around £300,000 per year by 2015.
Nine schools have taken part in a pilot scheme since May last year, which involves pupils and teachers working together to keep energy consumption down.
The programme is now set to be rolled out to include 36 schools over the next three years.
It involves practices such as colour coding electrical devices red or green to show whether they should be turned off after use, and updating boilers to make heating more efficient.
The scheme was approved at an executive board meeting on Monday night.