No further specifications – Energy efficiency: Schools must become role models

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Austrian schools must become role models in energy conscious management in Europe. In addition, the students should spread this awareness in the families through the initiatives at the educational institutions or in the classroom as a kind of “energy ambassadors”, Education Minister Martin Polaschek (ÖVP) said at a press conference on Friday.

“We will make the Austrian school system more energy efficient than ever before,” the minister announced. To this end, the month of October was declared “Energy: Conscious Month” – the aim was to monitor energy consumption in schools and on the other hand to increase the students’ interest in the topics of energy efficiency, sustainability and environmental protection, Polaschek summarized.

Every second school showed interest in the project
To this end, a school partnership summit was held with representatives of pupils, parents and teachers, as well as a video conference with more than 300 mayors (in the compulsory education sector, the municipalities are the school administrators, please note). In addition, the Ministry provided educational material that was downloaded by every second school in Austria. In addition, 49 new articles on the subject have been made available in the Eduthek for use in subjects such as biology, geography, physics, general studies, crafts, German, chemistry, English, arts education and digital basic education.

The schools received a decree with tips for saving energy and a checklist with specific points for checking the equipment, for example in the IT room or the sanitary facilities. New school buildings are looking at the use of photovoltaic systems, heat pumps, pellet boilers or heat storage.

Polaschek: ‘We rely on our own responsibility’
Polaschek reiterated that there will be no specific energy saving requirements or controls for the schools themselves. “We trust that the schools themselves take responsibility.” No one has to freeze either – the budget has been increased by 30 million euros to reduce energy costs.

According to Polaschek, the previous initiatives will be further expanded. Until December 16, students can also submit entries for the “Energy: Consciousness in everyday school life” competition, which awards ideas to convince others to save energy.

The initiative was welcomed by federal school spokeswoman Flora Schmudermayer. The school must set an example here and it does – from green facades to diplomas on sustainable building.

Source: Krone

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