Following a motion from Liberal Democrat councillors, Herts County Council has revealed that it will cost somewhere between £275 million and £500 million to make the county's schools carbon neutral. This figure only includes schools that are the responsibility of the council. Costs for schools which are academies will be on top of this as will any carbon offsetting that may be required.
So far the County Council has spent around £8 million on cutting schools' carbon emissions.
Liberal Democrat environment spokesperson County Councillor Steve Jarvis said, "It was clear that cutting schools' carbon emissions would be costly but now we know the actual size of the bill. Schools certainly don't have this money and nor does the council so they will need to lobby the government to cover these costs. It is good that a start has been made but there is much more to do.
"It is also important that the work is done the right way. As well as saving carbon it needs to be done in a way that does not increase schools' energy bills and ideally reduces them. Some schools are already struggling with rising energy costs and we need to help them by cutting energy use as part of the decarbonisation plans."