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Barnard Castle pupils become eco-detectives
PUPILS are becoming detectives to find out where they can improve their school’s energy efficiency.
Children at Green Lane CE primary School in Barnard Castle will investigate their surroundings and flag up areas where efficiency and eco-friendliness can be improved.
They will use a computer programme called Ecohound to test areas and stickers in the shape of a dog footprint will placed throughout the school to highlight where it is performing well in energy management and where it could do better.
Ecohound is part of an energy saving system that enables schools to reduce their carbon footprint and energy bills.
Green Lane, which has its own Eco Club, was awarded the system – developed by Simplicity Energy Management – as a prize in Durham County Council’s 2012 Environment Awards in recognition of its commitment to green issues and energy reduction.
The company, based in West Yorkshire, has installed sensors in four classrooms, the staff room and on three boilers and water heaters to monitor the school’s electricity and gas usage.
Eco teacher Chris Minikin said: “The children have really embraced the initiative and enjoy identifying where we can make improvements as a school.
“Often it’s as simple as making sure the lights in a classroom are turned off when it’s not in use.”
Green Lane hopes to save at least five per cent on its energy costs, and there is potential for even bigger savings.
Some schools using the Simplicity system have reported savings of between 20 and 40 per cent.
Rich Hurst, Lead for Sustainability Education at Durham County Council, said: “This school is the first in the County to have access to real time data and we are keen to learn how this will help them save money on their energy bills.”