Bridgend Primary School plans to save money by reducing its carbon footprint

Brackla Primary School in Bridgend is set to substantially cut its energy bills after installing solar panels in January, this year.

The new solar panels are designed to generate low carbon, renewable electricity which supplies energy to the school and offers an approximate cost saving of £2,800 per year.

With an estimated life span of 20 to 25 years, it is hoped that the solar panels will continue to generate savings at the school for years to come. The school is also eligible to claim for any surplus energy exported to the national grid, which will also go towards the cost-savings.

The new installation is just one of many environmentally friendly adjustments at the school, which is committed to improving the environment.

Headteacher, Kathryn John said: “We have been involved in the Eco-Schools initiative for twenty years and we’re approaching our fifth Platinum green flag renewal.

“Eco-awareness is embedded through all areas of learning and experience and is integral to our curriculum at Brackla Primary.”

Other eco-friendly measures include a whole school approach to recycling paper, cardboard, plastic (including milk bottles); growing vegetables which the children use to make food in the classroom, Sustrans ‘Bike It’ silver school (promoting sustainable travel by encouraging children to bike/scoot to school, with cycle racks provided), Keep Wales Tidy – ‘Brackla: Love It, Don’t Trash it’ scheme, Size of Wales, and Earth in Danger initiatives.

Mrs John added: “As part of the same scheme, we have also had 70 per cent of the school’s lighting replaced for more energy efficient LED lighting, estimated to save approximately £5,700 per year. In addition, it will save on maintenance costs, with LED lighting lasting approximately 50,000 hours or up to 15 to 20 years.”

The Leader, Cllr Huw David who together with the Cabinet Member for Education and Regeneration Cllr Charles Smith and local member Cllr John Spanswick visited the school recently, said: “It’s fantastic see how committed both pupils and teachers at Brackla Primary School are to the Eco-Schools programme.

“It has been wonderful to meet the school’s eco-committee and to be shown around the many eco-friendly adaptions they have made, including the outdoor classroom ‘Rainbow Lodge’; frog pond, bird hide, fruit trees and garden areas to grow their own vegetables.

“We are very proud of all our schools continuously proving their green credentials and showing such dedication towards sustainable development.”