Fifty-two local authorities will pilot new school schemes led by the Carbon Trust in a move to reduce energy bills which are costing the sector £543m a year.

Carbon Trust’s Collaborative Low Carbon Schools Service will help more than 400 pilot schools will implement cost-effective energy savings as the basis for helping them save up to £40m in energy bills and 270,000 tonnes of carbon across all their regions’ schools.

Simple measures such as switching off lights and installing more efficient heating could help the average secondary school save £500 in energy bills, almost say the trust, equal to the annual salary of a newly qualified teacher outside of London.

The Carbon Trust’s experience of driving public sector energy efficiency reveals that UK schools account for over half of local authorities’ carbon emissions, with a total £543 million annual energy bill, of which as much as £135m could be saved through simple cost-effective measures typically paying back in less than 3 years.

Forty-three local authorities have signed up to take part in the pilot, including Camden, Cumbria, Bedford, Buckinghamshire, Walsall, and Wiltshire. The 10-month programme will help schools save up to 25% on their energy bills through free expert advice, new pupil switch-off initiatives, and cost-effective measures such as installing energy-efficient lighting and heating.

Carbon Trust Programmes director, Richard Rugg, said: “The Carbon Trust’s work with local authorities shows that schools can play a pivotal role in helping the public sector to save millions of pounds while slashing carbon emissions.

“With a squeeze on budgets, our focus is on helping local authorities in collaboration with their schools estate to identify low cost opportunities that deliver high financial savings.

“Whether a pupil, a teacher or a school site manager, every member of the school community must play its part in saving energy.”

Luke Walsh

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