Schools are urged to use less energyBy Hugh Fort
May 01, 2012
Efforts are being made to reduce the cost of energy and water to the taxpayer, but schools are being urged to do more to reduce their own energy use.
Bracknell Forest Council has installed more than 300 solar panels on its buildings to reduce carbon emissions and save cash.
The latest building to get the panels is Bracknell Leisure Centre in Bagshot Road.
Panels have been installed on the roof of the swimming pool and will help the centre generate more energy while reducing its CO2 output.
Councillor Iain McCracken, executive member for culture, corporate services and public protection, said: “The energy needed to serve 800,000 customers is high, and set to get even higher.
“Generating solar electricity means the leisure centre can reduce its costs and CO2 output.”
Cllr Dorothy Hayes, executive member for the environment, added: “There have been over 300 solar PV installations in the borough since the feed-in tariffs came into effect in April 2010.
“The leisure centre installation demonstrates the council’s ongoing commitment to renewable energy.”
However, work still needs to be done on reducing energy, water and waste costs from the schools.
The council’s Schools Annual Environment Management Report for 2010/11, reveals the council is pressing schools to do more to conserve energy. It shows costs have gone up due to increases in the cost of oil and electricity.
The amount of energy used by schools did fall by 4.89 per cent, but there is scope for schools to cut their energy performance by 10 to 15 per cent. Lighting costs count for up to 50 per cent of energy spending in schools.
It says while the amount of water used in schools has reduced, Bracknell still fares poorly against national indicators. The report also states schools should reduce the amount of waste sent to landfill.
The report also gives a number of recommendations for schools, including auditing the waste they produce on site and increasing the range of recycling on their site.
The report was being discussed by the council’s environment, culture and communities overview and scrutiny committee on Tuesday.