News release: New Year, new funding: Interest-free loan now available for Oxfordshire County Council maintained schools to install energy saving measures
Following a successful first round last year, an interest-free loan launches this week to enable Oxfordshire schools to install energy saving measures. The scheme has already supported four schools and re-launches this week with limited funding available on a first come, first served basis.
County maintained schools in Oxfordshire can apply for an interest-free loan of up to £70,000 to install LED lighting and/or solar photovoltaic (PV) panels for schools to generate their own clean energy right on site.
The application window for schools is open until Thursday, 28 March 2024, although it will close sooner if oversubscribed. Applications will be reviewed and assessed as they come in, so schools are encouraged to apply early.
LED lights use at least 75% less energy than incandescent lights and last up to 25 times longer. Switching out old lightbulbs for these energy efficient ones is a simple, but effective action to cut energy use.
By installing solar PV panels, schools will generate their own clean energy that they can use directly on site. This cuts their carbon emissions and is also a valuable teaching tool for staff and students to learn about renewable energy technology.
Cutting down energy use in buildings is a big part of reducing our carbon emissions in the UK. In Oxfordshire, the Oxfordshire County maintained schools alone contributed 5,966tCO2e in 2021/22, which is 34.5 per cent of the council’s total reported corporate emissions. Therefore, making cuts to energy use in schools can make a big difference to Oxfordshire’s overall carbon emissions.
To help schools reduce their energy use, Oxfordshire County Council teamed up with local social enterprise Low Carbon Hub and energy waste experts the Environmental Information Exchange, a not-for-profit based in Oxford Brookes University to create Action on Carbon and Energy in Schools (ACES), an energy efficiency support service to help schools in Oxfordshire carry out energy saving measures to cut carbon emissions, save money on energy bills, and make buildings more comfortable and healthy for users.
This loan builds on the success of the first round released last year where four schools were successful in being allocated funding.
To get a loan application pack, schools can email Action on Carbon and Energy in Schools at firstname.lastname@example.org.