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Bethnal Green school goes solar on the road to Net Zero Carbon

Solar Panels, Morpeth Sch web

Cllr Asma Islam meets members of Morpeth School's Eco Council

A school in Bethnal Green is the latest to install solar panels as part of a £673,000 council grant-funding programme to make schools in Tower Hamlets more energy efficient.

Cllr Asma Islam, Cabinet Member for Environment and Planning, joined the school’s Eco Council to discuss the sustainable improvements to their school.

The solar panels installed at Morpeth School in Bethnal Green provide 20% of its electricity, reducing its carbon output by 19% and saving the school around £20,000 per year.

The grants are part of the council’s Schools Energy Retrofit Programme and are funded by the councils’ Carbon Offset Fund, which has supported 19 schools to reduce their carbon emissions by proactively carrying out energy reduction and energy efficiency projects.

Currently there are another five school energy efficiency projects which are ongoing.In total, the Council has 100% funded 24 schools with a total of £673,000.

The work undertaken includes upgrades to LED lighting, which drastically reduces the amount of electricity used and saves schools up to thousands of pounds in annual electricity costs.

This is in addition to another fund that helps small and medium businesses in the borough fund energy-efficiency projects, including replacing old gas boilers for electric boilers and upgrading lighting to LED.

Mayor of Tower Hamlets, John Biggs, said:

“Since declaring a climate emergency in 2019, we have committed to becoming a net zero council by 2025, and a net zero borough by 2045.

“Alongside retrofitting buildings, we have planted thousands of trees in our streets and our parks, installed hundreds of electric vehicle charging points and new cycle hangars, and have worked to convert street lighting to LED lights.

“The Schools Energy Retrofit Programmes aims to also meet this challenge – providing funding to schools to support them on their journey to reducing their carbon output, decreasing the cost of electricity, and improving their energy efficiency.”

Cllr Asma Islam, Cabinet Member for Environment and Planning, said:

“It was great to meet the school’s Eco Council of passionate young pupils and teachers working towards a sustainable future.

“Responding to the climate emergency means that our buildings need to be modernised across the borough to reduce their carbon outputs as much as possible.

“It is important that we are able to support schools, like Morpeth School, who are undertaking this important work to create a cleaner and greener future for all of us. Energy efficiency improvement projects are one of the important ways we can take action in response to the climate emergency.”

Headteacher of Morpeth School, Jemima Reilly, said:

“I’m really pleased that the project of installing the solar panels at Morpeth was one that was largely driven by the pupils. It was their commitment to finding ways that we could become more sustainable as a school that challenged us to do better, led by the Eco Council. This is just one part of the work that they’ve been doing to help us address the climate emergency.”

The Council is looking to make more funding available for energy efficiency projects soon. For more information about this, please visit this page on our website.

Posted on Monday 10th January 2022