Department for Education’s ‘sticking plaster’ energy efficiency funding released

King's Academy Ringmer Eco Club members and solar panels

The Department for Education’s announcement of £500m for schools to reduce their energy use falls far short of the funding needed for a nationwide retrofit programme to reduce costs and emissions. 

We are calling for government funding to retrofit every school in the country, to ensure they stop leaking heat, carbon emissions and money. 

Alex Green, programme manager at Let’s Go Zero, said: “While we welcome the government’s recognition that schools and colleges are facing a tough winter and need help managing their skyrocketing energy bills, we must be clear that this is merely a sticking plaster when a long-term solution is desperately needed.  

“If this money is used wisely, it can help schools lower their bills, and make their buildings more energy efficient. But to really solve the problem of money and carbon emissions leaking from schools and colleges every day, we need the government to commit to adapting and retrofitting every school in the UK.  

“This will futureproof schools and colleges once and for all, as well as delivering much needed green skills jobs in every corner of the country. Without a comprehensive fix, we will be doomed to repeat these piecemeal measures every winter.” 

As a stop gap measure before the much-needed retrofit funding is put in place, we are advising schools across the UK on how to cut costs and carbon this winter, from simple interventions such as making sure heating systems and lighting are powered down when the school is not in use or running a switch off campaign with students.

Over 1,800 schools, colleges and nurseries have joined Let’s Go Zero to show their intent to be zero carbon by 2030. A key action would be to reduce the energy wastage that many schools suffer from as a result of old boiler systems, old draughty properties which leak huge amounts of heat, and lack of funds and capacity to improve energy efficiency.

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