College gets energy-smart

Green charity school programme will help boost sustainability in Bideford school.

BIDEFORD College has joined a school mentoring programme designed to boost energy-smart skills and behaviour in Devon.

Representatives from the college joined teachers and pupils from schools across the county at Okehampton College for the launch of Ashden’s flagship LESS CO2 programme for sustainable schools.

The green energy charity hopes to help schools develop a more sustainable approach to energy that will help them cut costs and build pupils’ understanding about responsible energy use.

Pupils and teachers at each school will be showing peers how investing in clean energy and reducing energy use can reap rewards, including making major savings on fuel bills as well as reductions in anti-social behaviour.

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As part of the free programme, each participating school will receive a free energy audit, followed by help in developing a tailored plan for their school, and three subsequent quarterly workshops.

Okehampton College, which won an Ashden Award in 2010, will be acting as a mentor for the programme. With more than 1,000 pupils and 200 staff, it has achieved annual savings on its fuel bills of more than �70,000 since going green.

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The college’s community energy manager, Keith Webber, said: “If you can motivate both staff and pupils to get involved in switching things off when they go home for the day, and encouraging their peers to do the same, you’re going to make a big difference.”

Applications are now open for the 2013 Asden School Awards. Two winners will receive a �5,000 cash prize and support to help them make even more progress.

The deadline for applications is November 23 next year.

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