Energy for learning, not multi-nationals’ profits, say Greens

Green councillors have called for more to be done to improve the energy performance of Edinburgh’s schools.

As the Edinburgh Evening News revealed a schools gas bill of £2.4 million last year, Green councillor Gavin Corbett, a member of the Education Committee said:

“After decades of neglect Edinburgh’s schools are miles off the pace on energy efficiency.  Nothing can be more dispiriting for parents and young people than seeing extra money going to boost the profits of the energy giants, rather than paying for new facilities or extra help in the classroom.

“As energy prices continue to rise the case for real investment in insulation, modern boilers and installation of renewable energy becomes stronger and stronger.  The city needs to do that as well as helping schools immediately to manage heating better so that young people are not spilling out of school red-faced and dehydrated or opening windows in the middle of winter.

“If we get energy efficiency right it is a triple win – better for budgets, better for the comfort of the pupils and staff, and better for learning about what really makes an “eco-school”.”

In the Green Group budget for 13-14 the party put forward the following proposal as part of the capital programme:

The Green Group also proposes £12 million additional investment in the school estate, which includes £1.5 million for funding new works in energy efficiency, energy management and energy supply.  This will increase comfort levels within school buildings, bring eco-school programmes to life and free up school budgets to pay for materials and resources directly used in the classroom.