A school in Cambridge is set to reap the rewards by being the first to take part in a project to generate renewable energy and improve energy efficiency.
Milton Primary School is expected to save 37 per cent of their energy bills by taking part in an energy investment programme developed by Cambridgeshire County Council.
The Council has been working with partners, including energy service company, Bouygues Energies and Services, to develop a programme that all local schools can take part in.
With support from Intelligent Energy Europe, the County Council also set up a fund to provide Cambridgeshire schools and colleges with access to a low cost loan to cover the cost of installation of upgrades tailored to the school. Schools re-pay the loan using savings they make on their energy bills and income arising from government incentives for renewable energy generation.
Milton Primary School has chosen to install a 30kW solar array, condensing boilers, a new gas heater, insulation, and more efficient lighting. These measures will save Milton Primary 37% on their energy bills. These savings will more than offset the necessary loan repayments over 15 years.
Anna Reeder, Headteacher at Milton Primary School, said: "Our building is not the most eco-friendly and we are constantly working to reduce our growing energy costs. This initiative will help us reduce our carbon emissions and fuel bills so more of our budget can be spent on the children's learning. We'll also learn and work in a more sustainable manner."
Cambridgeshire County Councillor Ian Bates, Chairman of the Economy and Environment Committee, added: "The County Council is pleased to be able to offer Milton Primary School this innovative cost-savings program. The solar panels will be a visible reminder of the school's commitment to a greener future for its pupils."
David Lee, the Chair of Governors at Milton said: "We've expected for a long time that the school's boilers would need replacing and at considerable cost, however school budgets in Cambridgeshire provide little money for major structural or refurbishment work. This programme not only allows for the replacement of major items, but also creates a learning and working environment that is superb and energy efficient."