Environmental Education

Energy Conservation In Ontario's Schools

The government has a long-term strategy to reduce energy consumption in Ontario schools. Below you'll find highlights of projects that are part of the Ministry of Education's Energy Management and Conservation Initiative.

Green Clean Program Resource Guide
Released in March 2010, the guide (PDF, 639 KB) provides school boards with a comprehensive framework to help them adopt and implement a green clean program that increases the use of environmentally-responsible cleaning products in schools.

Green Schools Resource Guide
The Green Schools Resource Guide: A Practical Resource for Planning and Building Green Schools in Ontario (PDF, 3.48 MB) was released in January 2010. It is a one-stop reference manual to help boards plan, design and build an energy efficient green school.

Green Schools Pilot Initiative
The ministry, in partnership with the Ministry of Research and Innovation, is investing over $20 million to provide school boards with the ability to purchase, test and showcase new and innovative green products and technologies in more than 150 Ontario schools and 40 boards.

This investment will help local businesses — many of them Ontario-based — showcase their innovative technologies while supporting a greener economy.

Energy Efficient Schools Funding
In April 2009, the Ministry announced it would be investing $550 million over two years to support improved energy efficiency in schools. This includes:

  • $25 million for energy audits, energy controls and thermostats
  • $75 million to install interval meters and new lighting systems
  • $300 million to install new energy efficient heating and cooling systems, windows and roofs
  • $150 million to create permanent spaces in existing schools to replace energy inefficient portables

This builds on the $2.25 billion in funding to replace major building components through the Good Places to Learn Renewal program of 2005-06 and 2008-09.

Inventory of Green Initiatives in Ontario Schools
The ministry is creating a database of green initiatives — such as photovoltaic cells, windmills and green roofs – that schools have installed. Information on each technology will include initial start-up and maintenance costs, lessons learned, best practices and what effect these projects have had on student learning. Results will be shared with the education sector.

Renewable Energy Funding for Schools
In July 2009, the Ministry announced funding of $50 million for 2010-11 so schools can install the following five renewable energy technologies: solar photovoltaic, solar air heating, solar water heating, geothermal and small or micro wind.

The ministry is also working with the Ministry of Energy and Infrastructure to develop a list of qualified renewal energy vendors for school boards to use.

Utility Consumption Database
When complete, this database will collect electricity and natural gas data for all of Ontario's approximately 5,000 schools and board buildings. Launched in August 2009, this resource will:

  • Allow boards to analyze year-over-year consumption, following weather correction to remove the impact of abnormal or extreme weather conditions, against key indicators such as number of students, total building area, etc.
  • Determine average provincial benchmarks for energy consumption based on common facility indicators
  • Identify those schools and boards that are the most energy efficient
  • Identify schools and boards that need technical advice and support to reduce their energy consumption
  • Set annual energy reduction targets for the sector, boards and individual schools