The Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families, the Rt Hon Ed Balls MP, today saw the first school Energy Display Meter in action as part of a £12 million energy efficiency initiative to help schools and pupils to become more aware of energy use.
In a visit to Pimlico Academy in Westminster, London, the Secretary of State spoke to pupils and teachers about how the new technology, which gives real-time information about electricity use in their school, will help them to understand more about how simple changes in behaviour can make a big difference to the amount of energy consumed in their school.
The new initiative is launched today to coincide with the publication of the Zero Carbon Task Force final report which recommends that the use of energy display meters and a comprehensive awareness campaign can help change energy efficiency behaviour in schools.
From today, all primary and secondary schools in England can apply for a free energy display meter which will provide an accurate real-time reading of how much electricity a school building uses which can be displayed via the schools computer network. This means that pupils can see for themselves how simple actions such as switching off lights, computers and electrical equipment affects the school’s electricity use.
Schools account for around 2% of UK green house gas emissions, with 9.4 million tonnes of carbon dioxide emitted annually by schools in England. The energy display meters, which are provided and installed by British Gas, are expected to help reduce consumption by 10%-15% and it is estimated that it could save an average 900-pupil secondary school more than £3,000 a year on fuel bills alone.