‘Go green’ county’s schools now urged

Seven-year-old pupil Olivia Page at Rose Hill Primary School

Rose Hill School manager Charmaine Swift

First published in News Bicester Advertiser: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter. Please call me on (01865) 425411

SCHOOLS in Oxfordshire have been told to go green or face paying nearly half a million pounds of the county council’s energy tax bill.

Already faced with budget cuts from the new Government formulas, schools are now under pressure to cut back on power under threat of heavy financial penalty.

For some it may mean turning down classroom heating, turning the lights off or making less use of computers in a bid to save cash and reduce their “carbon footprint”.

The tax has been imposed on Oxfordshire County Council by the Government as part of a national energy efficiency scheme.

In turn the authority decided to pass on the bill to schools, arguing they were responsible for 60 per cent of the council’s energy consumption.

With the rising cost of energy, the county-wide schools bill is expected to skyrocket, hitting £711,000 by 2014/15.

The cost of the energy tax will vary according to the size of the school, but would amount to thousands of pounds a year.

Concerns have been raised that poorer schools and those in older buildings will particularly struggle with the cost of reducing their carbon.

At the same time, the 26 academies in Oxfordshire may escape the tax unless the council can convince governors to contribute willingly.

Rose Hill Primary School manager Charmaine Swift said the school had to find a way to cut down on energy use on a shrinking budget.

Last week it emerged the school would lose £23,000 in funding due to new government funding arrangements.

Now, should it fail to comply with the new regulations, its energy bill will rise by £4,000 in just two years.

She said: “The problem is with the budget cuts. Our school is very old and therefore we are not very energy efficient. Some of the windows are made of clear plastic, it’s just a single layer.

“Our roof needs a complete refurbishment, but we only have a certain amount of money we can spend, so we are stuck in the position where we are almost throwing good money after bad.

“Our boiler is so old the parts are often not available anymore and it can’t be turned off. It could be the case where some parts of the school are too warm and the heat is being wasted through open windows, but we can’t do anything about it.”

Other schools, such as Windmill Primary in Oxford, have also tried to make pupils aware their actions could cost the school money.

Headteacher Lynn Knapp said the balance had to be weighed up between the environment and keeping pupils warm, and making sure they were able to see.

Measures such as reducing the amount of printers in the new school building will be brought in to cut back on power consumption.

A report on the tax is going before the county council’s growth and infrastructure scrutiny committee on Monday.

Cabinet member for education Melinda Tilley said: “It is going to be problematic for older schools who will have problems being more efficient.”

She said she would speak to officers about a further briefing.

In other parts of the country areas such as the borough of Hounslow, in London, and Wiltshire are also looking at schools to foot the bill.

What is a carbon footprint?

‘Carbon’ refers to all the different greenhouse gases that contribute to global warming, while ‘footprint’ is the metaphor used to describe the total impact.

Therefore a ‘carbon footprint’ is the total amount of greenhouse gas emissions caused by an organisation, product, a person, or an event.

The phrase evolved from ‘ecological footprint’, coined in 1992 by Canadian biologist Bill Reese, which referred to the amount of land needed to support a given human population.

Since the 1990s there has been growing requirement for organisations and individuals to reduce their carbon footprints in a bid to avoid environmental damage to the planet.

 

Comments (8)

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9:51am Thu 15 Nov 12

east anglian says...

The school behind our house has 15 - 20 outside lights on every evening and morning for something like 4 hours in 24, 7 days a week. We were told the lights were meant to help people entering and leaving the building in the dark, not security lighting. Most of the time, however, they are on at times when noone is around (after 6 - 7 pm, and on Saturdays and Sundays). They were not intended as securoity lights, and clearly don't work as such, as several £ooos of lead were stripped from their roof since the lights were installed. Apart from the light pollution the school creates, the irony of it is that the school has a big poster out front telling everyone to switch it off and save the planet! I wonder if the school has even calculated how much taxpayers' money it is wasting, and what more educational uses it could make of the-is bit of oits budget.
The school behind our house has 15 - 20 outside lights on every evening and morning for something like 4 hours in 24, 7 days a week. We were told the lights were meant to help people entering and leaving the building in the dark, not security lighting. Most of the time, however, they are on at times when noone is around (after 6 - 7 pm, and on Saturdays and Sundays). They were not intended as securoity lights, and clearly don't work as such, as several £ooos of lead were stripped from their roof since the lights were installed. Apart from the light pollution the school creates, the irony of it is that the school has a big poster out front telling everyone to switch it off and save the planet! I wonder if the school has even calculated how much taxpayers' money it is wasting, and what more educational uses it could make of the-is bit of oits budget. east anglian
  • Score: 0

1:10pm Thu 15 Nov 12

Andrew:Oxford says...

Perhaps wealthy pensioners should hand their winter fuel allowance to local schools to help pay for winter heating?

A few free-standing Calor* gas heaters in classrooms should help boost the temperature and can be kept "under the radar" if donations and payments are made in cash.

*Other brands are available, Carbon Monoxide alarms should be fitted.
Perhaps wealthy pensioners should hand their winter fuel allowance to local schools to help pay for winter heating? A few free-standing Calor* gas heaters in classrooms should help boost the temperature and can be kept "under the radar" if donations and payments are made in cash. *Other brands are available, Carbon Monoxide alarms should be fitted. Andrew:Oxford
  • Score: 0

1:45pm Thu 15 Nov 12

Paul:Abingdon says...

Paul, Abingdon.

I have been trying to work with schools in Oxfordshire on energy efficiency but it is very difficult to get anyone in local authorities to listen to what I have to say! I have been carrying out classroom temperature monitoring at a local school, unfunded, and from the findings I have made so far I believe it is possible to save up to around 30% on school energy bills by spending very little. By determining where energy is being used and wasted and taking measures to really reduce consumption while still maintaining comfortable classroom temperatures, there are significant energy savings to be made. My monitoring is going to continue for the whole winter heating season at a number of other schools as well to try and get a balanced overview. Hopefully then the powers that be may actually want to listen to what I have to say instead of ticking boxes (the energy audits they carried out last year did little more than tick a box to say they had carried out energy audits! In reality they have achieved nothing.) to prove how energy efficient they are instead of lowering energy bills and getting tangible results.
Paul, Abingdon. I have been trying to work with schools in Oxfordshire on energy efficiency but it is very difficult to get anyone in local authorities to listen to what I have to say! I have been carrying out classroom temperature monitoring at a local school, unfunded, and from the findings I have made so far I believe it is possible to save up to around 30% on school energy bills by spending very little. By determining where energy is being used and wasted and taking measures to really reduce consumption while still maintaining comfortable classroom temperatures, there are significant energy savings to be made. My monitoring is going to continue for the whole winter heating season at a number of other schools as well to try and get a balanced overview. Hopefully then the powers that be may actually want to listen to what I have to say instead of ticking boxes (the energy audits they carried out last year did little more than tick a box to say they had carried out energy audits! In reality they have achieved nothing.) to prove how energy efficient they are instead of lowering energy bills and getting tangible results. Paul:Abingdon
  • Score: 0

5:23pm Fri 16 Nov 12

Radiospu says...

We are talking about carbon dioxide here **NOT** Carbon...!!!!!!!!!!!
! Will ye never learn?
We are talking about carbon dioxide here **NOT** Carbon...!!!!!!!!!!! ! Will ye never learn? Radiospu
  • Score: 1

9:35am Sun 18 Nov 12

Oranda says...

So this council have now resorted to blackmailing schools to follow the church of eco idiocy or be damned, Lets not forget that these schools are already paying green taxes in their energy bills (yet another scam) to appease the green church only to give it to wealthy land owners to have useless wind turbines on their land, The sooner this 'Carbon' this & 'save the planet' that nonesence gets shown up for the piffle that it is it is the better it'll be for everybody,
& to whoever wrote this dross you might want to find out what CO2 (not carbon) really is, The fact is it is NOT a pollutant of any kind but is in fact essential to plant / crop growth as well as a neccessity to all living things on the planet so we should celebrating CO2 & not demonising it.
So this council have now resorted to blackmailing schools to follow the church of eco idiocy or be damned, Lets not forget that these schools are already paying green taxes in their energy bills (yet another scam) to appease the green church only to give it to wealthy land owners to have useless wind turbines on their land, The sooner this 'Carbon' this & 'save the planet' that nonesence gets shown up for the piffle that it is it is the better it'll be for everybody, & to whoever wrote this dross you might want to find out what CO2 (not carbon) really is, The fact is it is NOT a pollutant of any kind but is in fact essential to plant / crop growth as well as a neccessity to all living things on the planet so we should celebrating CO2 & not demonising it. Oranda
  • Score: 1

10:03am Sun 18 Nov 12

Paul:Abingdon says...

Oranda wrote:
So this council have now resorted to blackmailing schools to follow the church of eco idiocy or be damned, Lets not forget that these schools are already paying green taxes in their energy bills (yet another scam) to appease the green church only to give it to wealthy land owners to have useless wind turbines on their land, The sooner this 'Carbon' this & 'save the planet' that nonesence gets shown up for the piffle that it is it is the better it'll be for everybody,
& to whoever wrote this dross you might want to find out what CO2 (not carbon) really is, The fact is it is NOT a pollutant of any kind but is in fact essential to plant / crop growth as well as a neccessity to all living things on the planet so we should celebrating CO2 & not demonising it.
Beyond the balance of nature, CO2 is in fact a serious pollutant, with human intervention the global CO2 balance has gone way above what the planet can actually deal with which means that is is now a very serious problem! Please do some reading before you make counter claims like the one you have made, if you can substantiate what you have said I would be glad to hear it!
[quote][p][bold]Oranda[/bold] wrote: So this council have now resorted to blackmailing schools to follow the church of eco idiocy or be damned, Lets not forget that these schools are already paying green taxes in their energy bills (yet another scam) to appease the green church only to give it to wealthy land owners to have useless wind turbines on their land, The sooner this 'Carbon' this & 'save the planet' that nonesence gets shown up for the piffle that it is it is the better it'll be for everybody, & to whoever wrote this dross you might want to find out what CO2 (not carbon) really is, The fact is it is NOT a pollutant of any kind but is in fact essential to plant / crop growth as well as a neccessity to all living things on the planet so we should celebrating CO2 & not demonising it.[/p][/quote]Beyond the balance of nature, CO2 is in fact a serious pollutant, with human intervention the global CO2 balance has gone way above what the planet can actually deal with which means that is is now a very serious problem! Please do some reading before you make counter claims like the one you have made, if you can substantiate what you have said I would be glad to hear it! Paul:Abingdon
  • Score: 0

2:30pm Sun 18 Nov 12

Oranda says...

Paul:Abingdon wrote:
Oranda wrote:
So this council have now resorted to blackmailing schools to follow the church of eco idiocy or be damned, Lets not forget that these schools are already paying green taxes in their energy bills (yet another scam) to appease the green church only to give it to wealthy land owners to have useless wind turbines on their land, The sooner this 'Carbon' this & 'save the planet' that nonesence gets shown up for the piffle that it is it is the better it'll be for everybody,
& to whoever wrote this dross you might want to find out what CO2 (not carbon) really is, The fact is it is NOT a pollutant of any kind but is in fact essential to plant / crop growth as well as a neccessity to all living things on the planet so we should celebrating CO2 & not demonising it.
Beyond the balance of nature, CO2 is in fact a serious pollutant, with human intervention the global CO2 balance has gone way above what the planet can actually deal with which means that is is now a very serious problem! Please do some reading before you make counter claims like the one you have made, if you can substantiate what you have said I would be glad to hear it!
Beyond the balance of nature, CO2 is in fact a serious pollutant, with human intervention the global CO2 balance has gone way above what the planet can actually deal with which means that is is now a very serious problem! Please do some reading before you make counter claims like the one you have made, if you can substantiate what you have said I would be glad to hearit!,,,,,,,,,,,,,
,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,
,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,
,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,
,,,,If you were to go back over the years CO2 has been far higher than it is today, This has been confirmed from ice core samples, You also fail to mention exactly what the "serious problems" are & please dont mention warming as its been confirmed by the UEA as well as the Met Office that there has been no warming since 1996, Yes I discovered that bombshell in my numerous readings on the subject so please dont make false assumptions that I don't know what i am talking about just because it doesnt fit your beliefs on the topic.
[quote][p][bold]Paul:Abingdon[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Oranda[/bold] wrote: So this council have now resorted to blackmailing schools to follow the church of eco idiocy or be damned, Lets not forget that these schools are already paying green taxes in their energy bills (yet another scam) to appease the green church only to give it to wealthy land owners to have useless wind turbines on their land, The sooner this 'Carbon' this & 'save the planet' that nonesence gets shown up for the piffle that it is it is the better it'll be for everybody, & to whoever wrote this dross you might want to find out what CO2 (not carbon) really is, The fact is it is NOT a pollutant of any kind but is in fact essential to plant / crop growth as well as a neccessity to all living things on the planet so we should celebrating CO2 & not demonising it.[/p][/quote]Beyond the balance of nature, CO2 is in fact a serious pollutant, with human intervention the global CO2 balance has gone way above what the planet can actually deal with which means that is is now a very serious problem! Please do some reading before you make counter claims like the one you have made, if you can substantiate what you have said I would be glad to hear it![/p][/quote]Beyond the balance of nature, CO2 is in fact a serious pollutant, with human intervention the global CO2 balance has gone way above what the planet can actually deal with which means that is is now a very serious problem! Please do some reading before you make counter claims like the one you have made, if you can substantiate what you have said I would be glad to hearit!,,,,,,,,,,,,, ,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,, ,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,, ,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,, ,,,,If you were to go back over the years CO2 has been far higher than it is today, This has been confirmed from ice core samples, You also fail to mention exactly what the "serious problems" are & please dont mention warming as its been confirmed by the UEA as well as the Met Office that there has been no warming since 1996, Yes I discovered that bombshell in my numerous readings on the subject so please dont make false assumptions that I don't know what i am talking about just because it doesnt fit your beliefs on the topic. Oranda
  • Score: 0

4:46pm Sun 18 Nov 12

Paul:Abingdon says...

Oranda wrote:
Paul:Abingdon wrote:
Oranda wrote:
So this council have now resorted to blackmailing schools to follow the church of eco idiocy or be damned, Lets not forget that these schools are already paying green taxes in their energy bills (yet another scam) to appease the green church only to give it to wealthy land owners to have useless wind turbines on their land, The sooner this 'Carbon' this & 'save the planet' that nonesence gets shown up for the piffle that it is it is the better it'll be for everybody,
& to whoever wrote this dross you might want to find out what CO2 (not carbon) really is, The fact is it is NOT a pollutant of any kind but is in fact essential to plant / crop growth as well as a neccessity to all living things on the planet so we should celebrating CO2 & not demonising it.
Beyond the balance of nature, CO2 is in fact a serious pollutant, with human intervention the global CO2 balance has gone way above what the planet can actually deal with which means that is is now a very serious problem! Please do some reading before you make counter claims like the one you have made, if you can substantiate what you have said I would be glad to hear it!
Beyond the balance of nature, CO2 is in fact a serious pollutant, with human intervention the global CO2 balance has gone way above what the planet can actually deal with which means that is is now a very serious problem! Please do some reading before you make counter claims like the one you have made, if you can substantiate what you have said I would be glad to hearit!,,,,,,,,,,,,,

,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,

,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,

,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,

,,,,If you were to go back over the years CO2 has been far higher than it is today, This has been confirmed from ice core samples, You also fail to mention exactly what the "serious problems" are & please dont mention warming as its been confirmed by the UEA as well as the Met Office that there has been no warming since 1996, Yes I discovered that bombshell in my numerous readings on the subject so please dont make false assumptions that I don't know what i am talking about just because it doesnt fit your beliefs on the topic.
Believe what you will, I have also been reading and studying the subject for a number of years and sorry to disagree with you but global warming and climate change are a reality. I do not subscribe to the 'eco church ' you speak of, I am firmly in the science, fact and evidence based 'church'. Core samples have proved that CO2 has been higher in the past but it has also proved that CO2 levels have also been very stable. The CO2 rise that we are experiencing now has never been seen on such a rapid curve in any core samples. If you look at CO2 rise over the last 2000 years it has remained very stable until 1768 when the industrial revolution started since then the rise in CO2 has been unprecedented, this is also when we started to burn fossil fuels. If this is nothing to do with human activity then please explain it because many scientists the world over are saying the same thing and I think they know what they are talking about but you may have more knowledge on this subject!
Please do not question my beliefs, question the beliefs of many of the worlds top scientists and experts in this field, even many climate change skeptics are starting to change their minds so this should tell you something.
Like I said, if you can give me some factual evidence to back up your take on this subject then please pass it on, I would like to hear it!
[quote][p][bold]Oranda[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Paul:Abingdon[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Oranda[/bold] wrote: So this council have now resorted to blackmailing schools to follow the church of eco idiocy or be damned, Lets not forget that these schools are already paying green taxes in their energy bills (yet another scam) to appease the green church only to give it to wealthy land owners to have useless wind turbines on their land, The sooner this 'Carbon' this & 'save the planet' that nonesence gets shown up for the piffle that it is it is the better it'll be for everybody, & to whoever wrote this dross you might want to find out what CO2 (not carbon) really is, The fact is it is NOT a pollutant of any kind but is in fact essential to plant / crop growth as well as a neccessity to all living things on the planet so we should celebrating CO2 & not demonising it.[/p][/quote]Beyond the balance of nature, CO2 is in fact a serious pollutant, with human intervention the global CO2 balance has gone way above what the planet can actually deal with which means that is is now a very serious problem! Please do some reading before you make counter claims like the one you have made, if you can substantiate what you have said I would be glad to hear it![/p][/quote]Beyond the balance of nature, CO2 is in fact a serious pollutant, with human intervention the global CO2 balance has gone way above what the planet can actually deal with which means that is is now a very serious problem! Please do some reading before you make counter claims like the one you have made, if you can substantiate what you have said I would be glad to hearit!,,,,,,,,,,,,, ,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,, ,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,, ,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,, ,,,,If you were to go back over the years CO2 has been far higher than it is today, This has been confirmed from ice core samples, You also fail to mention exactly what the "serious problems" are & please dont mention warming as its been confirmed by the UEA as well as the Met Office that there has been no warming since 1996, Yes I discovered that bombshell in my numerous readings on the subject so please dont make false assumptions that I don't know what i am talking about just because it doesnt fit your beliefs on the topic.[/p][/quote]Believe what you will, I have also been reading and studying the subject for a number of years and sorry to disagree with you but global warming and climate change are a reality. I do not subscribe to the 'eco church ' you speak of, I am firmly in the science, fact and evidence based 'church'. Core samples have proved that CO2 has been higher in the past but it has also proved that CO2 levels have also been very stable. The CO2 rise that we are experiencing now has never been seen on such a rapid curve in any core samples. If you look at CO2 rise over the last 2000 years it has remained very stable until 1768 when the industrial revolution started since then the rise in CO2 has been unprecedented, this is also when we started to burn fossil fuels. If this is nothing to do with human activity then please explain it because many scientists the world over are saying the same thing and I think they know what they are talking about but you may have more knowledge on this subject! Please do not question my beliefs, question the beliefs of many of the worlds top scientists and experts in this field, even many climate change skeptics are starting to change their minds so this should tell you something. Like I said, if you can give me some factual evidence to back up your take on this subject then please pass it on, I would like to hear it! Paul:Abingdon
  • Score: -1

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