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Climate change: what schools can do

Haslemere Primary School Solar Panels

There is a range of information available to help your school improve its environmental performance. Our climate change and facilities management teams are also able to offer advice on improving your energy performance and cutting emissions.

Emissions from schools currently account for a large proportion of our greenhouse gas emissions. Improving the energy efficiency of our schools will deliver multiple benefits:

  • Reduced energy bills for schools
  • Lower greenhouse gas emissions
  • Reduced costs under the Carbon Reduction Commitment

Children

Eco-schools

Eco-Schools is an international award programme that guides schools on their sustainable journey, providing a framework to help embed these principles into the heart of school life.

Eco-Schools website

Saving energy in schools

According to the Carbon Trust, within a typical school:

  • Heating and hot water: account for 60% of total energy costs
  • Lighting: accounts for around 25% of electricity costs

Delivering energy efficiency measures in these two areas will offer the greatest efficiency savings.

For advice on how to save energy in schools visit the Carbon Trust website.

Children working on an allotment

Generating energy in schools

We are keen to make the most of natural and low carbon sources of energy. As a result we're currently exploring options for increasing the amount of zero and low carbon energy used across the schools' estate.

If you are considering installing solar panels please first review the council’s Solar PV checklist for schools.

What can you do today?

  • Recycle glass bottles, jars, newspapers and magazines and tin cans in your recycling box's.
  • Persuade your mum or dad (or whoever does the gardening) to try growing their own vegetables or to have a compost heap.
  • If you are drawing, colouring or making notes, use both sides of the paper.
  • Try to buy products that don't use much packaging.
  • Give unwanted gifts and clothes to a charity shop.
  • Only fill the kettle up with the amount of water you need to boil that time.
  • Don't leave the TV or video on standby.
  • If you get a lift to school in a car, take your mates along for the ride.
  • Ask whoever does your washing to use the machine at 40 degrees - this helps conserve power.
  • Switch lights off when you're not in the room and use energy efficient light bulbs.
  • Have showers instead of baths.
  • Remember your reusable bag when you are shopping.
  • You can also read the young persons climate change booklet - the future is in our hands for more tips and facts.

Case Study: Haslemere Primary School

We have been working with several schools in the Wandle Valley Low Carbon Zone (LCZ) to improve their energy performance and cut carbon emissions. Haslemere Primary school has benefited from a range of measures including:

Measure Benefit(s)
Installation of 10kW solar photovoltaic panels
  • Reduced energy costs (saving roughly £800 per year
  • Reduced carbon emissions (five tonnes per year)
  • Live display showing the energy that has been generated
  • Lesson plans and equipment to support teaching to Key Stage 2
"Carbon Hub" educational software resource
  • Resource for students to learn more about climate change
  • Allows students to monitor carbon emissions from the school
  • Online resource for teachers
  • Information and data on energy use for site managers

Related websites

Contact us

Future Merton
Merton Civic Centre
London Road
Morden
SM4 5DX

Telephone: 020 8545 3837 / 020 8545 4141

Fax: 020 8545 4160
Email: future.merton@merton.gov.uk

This page was last updated on Wednesday 14 January 2015

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