The Carbon Trust is writing to all schools and Local Education Authorities in England urging them to take action on energy efficiency to help reduce their £500m a year fuel bill.
It said: 'No cost and low cost energy efficiency measures can save a secondary school up to £21,500 a year, which is equivalent to the salary cost of a newly qualified teacher.'
A new service for schools is being launched by the Carbon Trust which provides tools, resources and onsite training on saving energy and carbon. It also includes access to the Carbon Trust's online behaviour change software, Empower for Schools, designed to help teachers actively engage students through practical learning experiences, support for lessons, carbon comparisons and quizzes.
Richard Rugg, managing director of public sector advice at the Carbon Trust, said: 'We know that schools are needlessly spending too much money on their energy bills. Taking action on this will not only free up budgets for educational spending, it will also help to combat climate change. This is why we are launching a service to help them. In fact, if all the schools in England implemented our advice, we estimate that they could collectively achieve annual savings of £70 million on their energy bills.
'In most cases significant savings can be achieved within weeks or months, with low and no cost measures. In particular making sure that lighting, heating and devices that consume electricity, such as computers, are used efficiently. Further savings can be made through investment in building fabric, upgrading lighting, and putting in new heating systems or renewables.
'These measures not only help cut overheads so that schools can focus on educational spending, they have the supplementary benefit of creating a more effective learning environment.'