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Planet Savers Schools Project

Planet Savers involves schools auditing current energy, water and resource use, developing reduction strategies and monitoring their implementation using a School Energy Tracking System. Teachers receive professional development to align school operations with curriculum. This program involved 13 schools in 2007, they achieved a combined emissions reduction of over 150 tonnes of CO2 and an average per school saving of $3,800 per annum in energy, water and waste. The project involved 8 schools in 2008 and 16 schools in 2009.

Start with our children and watch the knowledge and climate change action grow. This is the thinking in this project to help students understand the issues and plan school and community responses. The project involves energy audits, action plans and a School Environmental Tracking System to see that it works.

“A comprehensive audit identified over $5000 in potential savings in our energy use. Mark’s presentation had a significant impact on our staff and assisted us in getting the whole school on board in terms of becoming a sustainable school and making the associated behavioural changes.” – Hannah Lewis, VP Westernport Secondary

PLANET SAVERS is a project aimed at dramatically reducing greenhouse gas emissions from up to 13 schools within the following local government areas: Frankston City Council, City of Casey, Cardinia Shire Council and Bass Coast Shire Council. The project is a partnership between the Australian Government, Department of the Environment and Heritage and the participating local councils, with other funding and in-kind support provided by the Western Port Greenhouse Alliance, CERES, Sunrise Energy Management, Energy Doctor, Environment Victoria and individual schools.

In 2007 the Planet Savers project offers 13 schools the opportunity to participate in the following process:

STEP 1: Undertake a whole school energy audit (under the guidance of an energy efficiency specialist). This will take place during November/December 2006 and will result in an energy efficiency plan and subsequent support to cut costs and greenhouse gas emissions within the school.

STEP 2: In-school educational support and professional development. This will be delivered by CERES (EUREKA Prize winning environmental education specialists) in Term 1 2007. CERES will facilitate the delivery of the energy efficiency module of the Sustainable Schools Program.

STEP 3: Schools Environment Tracking System. SETS will enable schools to track the schools impact on the environment by monitoring services for electricity, natural gas, LPG, water, solid waste and the amount of paper that the school uses.

STEP 4: Cash funding to enable the school to implement the actions identified in energy efficiency plan.

STEP 5: Ongoing support, advice and monitoring from the project partners in the implementation of energy efficiency measures within the school.

With its emphasis on local and regional partnerships this pilot project provides a cost effective means of rolling out sustainability education and actions in all schools and communities of Victoria. At the same time the program includes a wide range of opportunities and training to incorporate sustainability initiatives.

PROJECT: Planet Savers Schools Project

START / FINISH: 2005/2010

FUNDER/GRANT: Council / Schools