Applications open for greener schools

Victorian government schools can now apply for funding to have solar panels installed on their roofs.

The State Government’s Greener Government School Buildings program aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions at schools and to upgrade facilities to become more energy efficient and sustainable.

Applications are now open to all government schools to fund a system at their school, with projects expected to be completed by mid next year.

Education Minister James Merlino opened the applications on 23 June.

“We’re taking action to make our schools more sustainable and more energy efficient,” Mr Merlino said.

“Not only will the environment benefit from this program – installing solar panel systems will help reduce power bills for our schools.”

The program is expected to remove the upfront costs of installing a system that may otherwise discourage schools from pursuing this option.

It is also expected to provide schools with a strategic investment that will pay for itself within a few years.

The Greener Government School Buildings program follows the success of a pilot program rolled out across 42 schools last year.

By October, the solar panels will have generated more than 1,300 megawatts of electricity, reduced greenhouse gas emissions by more than 1,600 tonnes and saved schools more than $300,000 in electricity bills.

Schools can apply for a solar panel system at www.schoolbuildings.vic.gov.au.

Applications close on 7 August.

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