New Website For Schools Show How To Reduce The Amount Of Energy And Water They Use

Over a thousand schools have logged on to a new website which shows them how to reduce the amount of energy and water they use.

The Sustainable Learning website, which is funded by DfES and managed by BRE, helps schools to comply with the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD) which comes into force in during 2008. From that date on, all schools in England will have to measure the amount of energy they consume each year and rate themselves accordingly on a scale of A - G. They will also have to display a certificate showing this rating.

Schools logging on to can enter details of the amount of energy and water they use each month to find out what their present rating is and compare their performance with other schools. They can then use the website resources to involve the whole school in setting targets for improvement, tracking performance and raising the knowledge and awareness of all school users.

BRE energy experts provide free advice via a helpline and there are on-line discussion forums where schools can learn from others' successes and share ideas about incorporating sustainability into school activities.

The key energy saving areas in schools are generally utility management, improving the building fabric and updating environmental systems such as lighting and heating. To help schools make these improvements now, the DfES has announced an early advance of capital investment (see

Grants for renewable energy technologies such as wind turbines and biomass boilers, are also available under the DTI's Low Carbon Building programme and schools can use the energy management approach used in the Sustainable Learning website to support their application.

Local authorities will also find the website useful as it allows them to identify which schools need help and prioritise their support activities accordingly.

At present the Sustainable Learning is only available to schools and local authorities in England, though it is hoped to extend the service to Northern Ireland, Wales and Scotland in the coming months.

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