A school board in Canada’s largest city will launch an environmental initiative that includes the installation of solar electric systems on some schools.
TORONTO, Ontario, CA, 2001-05-17 <SolarAccess.com> The Toronto Catholic District School Board launched the three- year EnergyWorks initiative, which is a self-funding $20 million campaign to “significantly upgrade” the building environment of its schools. The project incorporates innovative ‘green’ initiatives to reduce energy consumption, decrease emission of carbon dioxide and provide an improved learning environment in its 140 schools. The school board claims to be one of the first in North America to initiate a retrofit program of this scale and scope, and the object is to contribute on a large scale to the commitment from the City of Toronto to decrease its carbon emissions by 20 percent by 2005. TCDSB will work with Toronto Hydro Energy Services, Enbridge Consumers Gas and the City of Toronto’s Better Buildings Partnership to improve school environments while saving $2 million a year in utility costs. “Energy and conservation is a concern to all of us,” explains board chairman Michael Del Grande. “Through efforts such as EnergyWorks, we can impact our schools, our home and our city, providing enhanced living and learning environments.” The measures to be implemented throughout the schools include the conversion of heating fuels from electric to natural gas, upgrades to lighting systems, installation of water conservation devices, and improved ventilation devices. “This is going to create jobs, rejuvenate our schools and save the environment,” adds city councilor Jack Layton. “It’s going to teach kids about the future and how to make it better.” EnergyWorks will emphasize the learning experience for students with innovative solutions, such as solar PV panels and rooftop gardens to be installed at select schools. Students and teachers will monitor the energy generated and benefit from the educational environment opportunities of solar science rooms.