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Posted: March 13, 2014

Funds light up environmental upgrades in schools

From new boilers to air source heat pumps and electric cars, school districts throughout B.C. have cut their carbon emissions and operation costs with the Ministry of Education’s Carbon Neutral Capital Program (CNCP).

Since 2012, districts have achieved more than $873,000 in cumulative operating cost savings and reduced their annual carbon dioxide emissions by a total of 3,030 tonnes.

The ministry is providing $5 million again this year to help districts launch more green projects in 2014-15. A total of $4.55 million will be allocated to projects in 28 school districts. The remaining $454,000 will be distributed to 45 districts so they can conduct energy and mechanical studies for future projects.

Southeast Kootenay (School District No. 5) is in on the funding, getting $121,594 for re-commission controls at various schools.

Some of the projects that districts will implement include boiler replacements, air source heat pumps and carbon dioxide sensor installations. All of these projects will allow the districts to reduce electricity and natural gas usage at their schools.

The Ministry of Education launched the Carbon Neutral Capital Program in 2012 to compensate school districts for the amount they pay to purchase carbon offsets from Pacific Carbon Trust each year by funding projects that reduce emissions and save money. The program was developed in consultations with education stakeholders including the British Columbia School Trustees Association.

“We launched the Carbon Neutral Capital Program two years ago and since then, districts throughout B.C. have made great strides in reducing their greenhouse gas emissions and school operation costs in the process. Many districts have also turned their schools’ green upgrades and features into classroom lessons so students can learn about the importance of climate action,” stated Peter Fassbender, Minister of Education.

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