Carbon Emissions: Standards

Department for Education written question – answered on 12th February 2021.

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Photo of Rupa Huq Rupa Huq Labour, Ealing Central and Acton

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, if he will make an assessment of the potential merits of retrofitting schools, colleges and universities to net-zero emission standards by 2030.

Photo of Nick Gibb Nick Gibb Minister of State (Education)

Reduction in energy use in new and existing buildings to meet the legislative zero greenhouse gas emissions target by 2050 is a priority for the Government.

Schools can use their condition funding to invest in improving energy efficiency. Since 2015, the Department has allocated £9.5 billion to maintain and improve school buildings, including an additional £560 million in financial year 2020-21. The latest Spending Review committed a further £1.8 billion in financial year 2021-22 for maintaining and improving the school estate.

The Further Education (FE) Capital Transformation Fund delivers the Government’s £1.5 billion commitment to upgrade the FE college and designated institutions’ estate in England. This will target colleges in the worst condition and promote efficient use of space and support the government's objectives on achieving net zero carbon.

In 2020, the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy set up the £1 billion Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme which provided grants for eligible public sector bodies, including schools and FE colleges to fund energy efficiency and heat decarbonisation measures. Higher education (HE) institutions were also eligible for these grants.

Whilst this scheme has now ended, schools, FE and HE institutions can apply for interest free loans through the government’s Salix scheme for public sector projects that improve energy efficiency and reduce carbon emissions.

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