Plans are being developed to reduce the level of carbon emissions from Government buildings.
The work is part of the Government’s action plan setting out how the Island will achieve net zero emissions by 2050.
The Council of Ministers has committed to Government leading on large scale changes that can reduce emissions.
A comprehensive review of energy use of many of Government’s buildings has already been completed, identifying buildings with the lowest energy efficiency scores.
Reducing emissions is being factored in to construction projects for existing government buildings. An example is the roof of the sports hall at Ballakermeen High School, which is due to be replaced in the near future. The intention, where the building allows, is to fit solar panels to the roof as part of the overall works, subject to funding approval. This would mean the school could generate its own electricity, making the overall building less reliant on fossil fuels.
Other examples include work to ensure the new Castle Rushen High School and the new science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) block at Queen Elizabeth II High School play their part in minimising climate impact and maximising energy efficiency.
Monitoring buildings and their environments also has a role to play in climate change. Scoill Phurt le Moirrey has had new environmental monitors installed, which provides live data, including CO2 levels, illumination and temperature. The project is a joint venture between Government and the Manx Technology Group. It allows teaching staff to understand the learning environment and take appropriate action, such as maximising ventilation and airflow.
The monitors also present an opportunity for pupils to better understand the environment around their school. If deployed across all of the Island’s school, it would provide a rich data set.
Minister for Education, Sport and Culture Alex Allinson MHK said:
“Examining the government’s estate and exploring ways to improve energy efficiency is a significant piece of work which, understandably, will take time. But we are making inroads. Through the Climate Change Transformation Programme, Government is working on policies that will enable us to invest in renewable energy and energy saving technologies, which take account of long term cost benefits.
“These measures are important first steps to tackle the challenges of climate change and also to help educate future generations on the measures which can used to reduce our impact on the environment.”