Carbon cuts cost too much

26th October 2007 at 01:00
The government stepped back from a pledge to make all new secondary schools carbon neutral because it proved too expensive.

In a response to a Commons' Select Committee report into the Building Schools for the Future programme, which aims to rebuild or refurbish all secondary schools by 2020, it said: "Our initial research indicates that with current technologies, zero carbon schools can only be achieved at considerable extra cost, and even then site constraints mean that zero carbon cannot be achieved in all cases.

"The level of capital investment would exceed any potential savings in school running costs."

The Department for Children, Schools and Families previously said new schools would only receive funding if they were designed to produce no carbon footprint.

Sally Brooks, head of school capital at the department, told a conference earlier this year: "This is the first government programme where funding is dependent on carbon neutrality."

However, new schools will only be expected to reduce their carbon output by 50 per cent by using renewable energy, the Government said. Schools will off-set the rest.

Ministers were keen to promote the building programme's green credentials. They invested pound;110 million in April to deliver 200 eco-schools over the next three years.

The statement came as the Government was reported to be on the verge of abandoning a target of 20 per cent of European energy to come from renewable sources.

The Government also told the select committee that consultants PricewaterhouseCoopers would produce a report on the impact of BSF on pupil achievement this year.

l Nottinghamshire has reduced carbon emissions by 4,000 tonnes by using wood pellets instead of fossil fuels to heat its schools. The boilers are used to teach primary school pupils about climate change.

Subscribe to get access to the content on this page.

If you are already a Tes/ Tes Scotland subscriber please log in with your username or email address to get full access to our back issues, CPD library and membership plus page.

Not a subscriber? Find out more about our subscription offers.
Subscribe now
Existing subscriber?
Enter subscription number

Comments

The guide by your side – ensuring you are always up to date with the latest in education.

Get Tes magazine online and delivered to your door. Stay up to date with the latest research, teacher innovation and insight, plus classroom tips and techniques with a Tes magazine subscription.
With a Tes magazine subscription you get exclusive access to our CPD library. Including our New Teachers’ special for NQTS, Ed Tech, How to Get a Job, Trip Planner, Ed Biz Special and all Tes back issues.

Subscribe now