FIVE Royal Borough schools are set to see new solar panels and insulation works thanks to new government funding.

The council secured £1.5m from the government’s public sector decarbonisation scheme to remove oil-fired boilers and make energy efficiency upgrades to selected schools to lower their carbon emissions.

The five establishments include Boyne Hill Infant School and Courthouse Junior School in Maidenhead, as well as Oakfield First School in Windsor and Alexander First School, and Braywood First School in Oakley Green.

Work to install solar panels, insulation, double-glazing, air or ground source heat pumps, and heating improvements are underway at both Boyne Hill and Braywood schools, and the upgrades are due to be completed at all schools by March.

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The project is to support the council’s aim to reduce carbon by 50 per cent by 2025 and reach net zero by 2050 at the latest.

The council says it has already seen a reduction in its carbon emissions of almost 15 per cent from 2018/19 to 2020/21. This was achieved through various projects such as replacing lighting systems with LEDs in 12 schools, Maidenhead library, and the Tinkers Lane depot and the installation of new double-glazed windows at the Tinkers Lane site.

Councillor Donna Stimson (Con: St Mary’s), lead member for climate action and sustainability, said: “Taking action on climate change is a priority for the council and the work we are undertaking and have planned for the future will significantly reduce the council’s carbon emissions and demonstrates important leadership on climate change in the borough.

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“Our Environment and Climate Strategy makes clear that we cannot act in isolation but require the whole borough to play their part and work together collectively to address climate change.

“Schools are responsible for more than 40 per cent of our carbon emissions as a council and, therefore, it’s imperative that we invest and work with school leaders to reduce their environmental impact.

“Not only will the work help lower the schools’ carbon footprint and with their day-to-day energy costs, the installation of solar panels at the majority will help them generate their own renewable energy supporting them on their journey towards a more sustainable future.

“The upgrades will also mean more comfortable learning environments for pupils with improved insulation and better heating systems making them better places to work and study.”