A programme which helps schools across County Durham reduce both their carbon dioxide emissions and energy costs has been praised at an industry conference in Spain.
Interreg Europe, which helps regional and local governments to develop and deliver better policy, shared details of Durham County Council’s School Carbon Reduction Programme (SCRP) at its European Policy Learning Event in Seville.
The SCRP offers schools tailored support on reducing carbon dioxide emissions, from working with pupils to develop environmental and energy awareness campaigns to teacher training highlighting the opportunities for using energy data within lessons.
It also provides access to an online portal which gives up-to-date and accurate energy and water usage data and helps schools achieve cost savings.
The scheme was presented to members as an outstanding example of a successful project with schools and hailed as being easily transferable.
Ian Bloomfield, Durham County Council’s principal funding and projects officer said: “It’s a huge honour for the SCRP to be recognised amongst our European peers.
“Interreg Europe is all about sharing best practice so it’s great that County Durham can contribute and be at the forefront of developing successful policies and programmes that improve energy efficiency.
“The SCRP has already saved a great deal of money for our schools as well as significantly reduced carbon emissions, and we hope to increase this contribution as the programme continues.”
The SCRP is part of the Interreg Europe REBUS project and is coordinated by Durham County Council for schools with an Energy Service Level Agreement. The programme was introduced in 2010 and provides a strategic approach to improving energy use and energy efficiency in schools across the county.
The programme has grown from 60 schools in 2010 to 241 schools in the 2016/17 academic year and has so far helped to save 13,000 tonnes of CO2 and over £2.6 million for schools based upon business as usual predictions.