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Government schools set to be greener thanks to government program

By Riverine Herald

GOVERNMENT schools in northern Victoria are set to become a little greener thanks to the Victorian Government's Greener Government School Buildings program.

The money will allow solar panels to be installed, helping the schools become more environmentally sustainable and reduce electricity costs.

Member for Northern Victoria Mark Gepp MP announced Tuesday that applications were now open for the program.

“I urge all government schools across Northern Victoria to apply for these solar panel grants,” he said.

“The long-term benefits of this program will mean a huge saving on energy costs, allowing schools to use those savings on other important activities or resources.”

Education Minister James Merlino said the program aimed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions at schools and to upgrade school facilities.

“We’re taking action to make our schools more sustainable and more energy efficient,” Mr Merlino said.

“Not only will the environment benefit from this program, installing solar panel systems will help reduce power bills for our schools.”

This program will remove the upfront costs of installing a system that may otherwise discourage schools from pursuing this option.

The Greener Government School Buildings program follows the success of a pilot program rolled out across 42 schools in 2019.

By October 2020, the solar panels installed in schools as part of the pilot program will have generated more than 1300 megawatts of electricity, reduced greenhouse gas emissions by more than 1600 tonnes and saved schools more than $300,000 in electricity bills.

Schools can apply for a solar panel system at schoolbuildings.vic.gov.au

Applications close on August 7.