News

Local schools offered loans for greener buildings

State schools will be able to borrow money from the council to make their buildings more eco-friendly

By Victoria Munro

Stock image of solar panel installation (credit: Pixabay)

Local state schools will soon be able to borrow money from Waltham Forest Council to make their buildings more environmentally friendly.

At a meeting yesterday, council leaders agreed to set up a £500,000 fund for energy efficiency loans, which schools would pay back over years using the money they save on energy bills.

Schools could use the loans to invest in new insulation, lights, heating and solar panels to reduce their energy and carbon consumption.

The first loans will be issued in the spring term of this year and the council expects to be able to issue two or three loans in the first round of funding. 

A report prepared for council leaders adds: “Schools will be expected to demonstrate their ability to pay back the savings made to ensure there is continued recycling of the funding allocation.

“The council could decide not to implement an energy loan scheme [but] this would mean that we would not be able to implement energy efficiency measures in some of our schools.


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“[It would] therefore take longer for schools to reduce energy use and become more financially sustainable.”

In May 2021, the council announced it was spending millions of government grant money to make some of the borough’s public buildings more energy efficient.

A total of £2.28million was invested in twelve sites around the borough, with the goal of cutting the council’s annual energy bill by an estimated £57,000.

One of the buildings improved was Chestnuts House, then occupied by property guardians, who were promptly evicted the following year.

The council now says “there is an opportunity” to see the 18th century mansion “transformed from a disused space into a vibrant community” at the start of next year and has shortlisted creative studio space company Eat Work Art as potential operators.


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