School energy use needs more ambition say Greens

Edinburgh needs to get more focused and more ambitious about school energy use, according to Green councillors.

In its recent budget the City Council earmarked an extra £10.5 million for school building improvements. Green councillor Gavin Corbett has urged the Council to up its game on energy efficiency in order to record what he calls “a triple win” of greater comfort levels, budget savings and making “eco-schools” really matter.

During his time as chair of Craiglockhart Primary School Parent Council Cllr Corbett helped set up a school energy project with a post-graduate student which showed that £6,000 could be reduced from the school’s £15,000 annual energy budget through greater efficiency. Now he wants to see improvements rolled out across schools.

Cllr Corbett said

“Parents and young people quite rightly want every penny in a school directed towards things that matter in the classroom like books, materials and equipment rather than increasing the profits of big energy companies. They also want to be able to control temperatures to keep classrooms comfortable in summer or in winter.

“Edinburgh is years behind where some other councils are at the moment. We need an honest appraisal of the state of our schools now, followed by clear targets and timescales to improve energy use and control. And we need to look ambitiously at the opportunities for our schools to tap renewable energy from the sun or
wind.

“If we get it right it will be a triple win of more comfortable temperatures, more money for books and materials and reduced carbon emissions in line with what
eco-schools should be all about.”

The City Council’s Education Committee will discuss a report on school energy use on Tuesday 5 March.