Local schools go solar with Federal Government grants

Member for Cunningham, Sharon Bird and Member for Throsby, Stephen Jones welcome the announcement today that seven schools in the Illawarra will receive grants as part of the final round of the Australian Government’s National Solar Schools Program.

The successful schools were Wollongong West Public School, Unanderra Public School, Kemblawarra Public School, Cringila Public School, Koonawarra Public School and St John’s Catholic Primary School who each received $15,000 or more in funding to install energy efficient items such as rainwater tanks and solar power systems.

“We all know it’s important to be sensible about the way we use and conserve our resources”, said Mr Jones.

“The National Solar Schools program is a great way to teach our kids how a few simple changes like switching to solar power, or using rainwater will make a huge difference to their future environment.”

Deputy Prime Minister Wayne Swan, together with Parliamentary Secretary for Climate Change and Energy Efficiency, Mark Dreyfus, recently announced 804 schools from around Australia had been awarded grants of up to $50,000.

These grants are being used to install renewable solar energy systems, rainwater tanks and other energy efficiency measures to cut pollution and save money on electricity bills.

This program’s popularity shows that schools are keen to reduce their energy consumption and conserve water, giving students and local school communities the opportunity to experience renewable energy generation first-hand.

Since the program began, more than 5,400 schools (close to 60%) across the nation have received a grant. 

Applications were assessed using merit-based criteria. Schools demonstrated value for money, as well as environmental and educational benefits. Applications from schools located in remote or low socio-economic areas received additional weighting to allow funding to be directed to schools most in need.

The 2012-13 funding round was the final opportunity for schools to apply for a National Solar Schools Program grant.

Further information about the National Solar Schools Program including a list of successful grant recipients is available on the Department of Climate Change and Energy Efficiency website: www.climatechange.gov.au/nationalsolarschools/