For the Netherlands Agency for Energy and the Environment, Novem, CE has assessed the policy scope for reducing the energy consumption of school buildings. Based on a literature study and a series of non-quantitative interviews, the first aim was to gain insight into the quality of the school building stock and the associated energy consumption. In the primary and secondary school sector it was found that over 50% of school buildings were built prior to 1975 and incorporated few energy-saving features; within about 5 to 15 years these will undergo large-scale renovation or be replaced. In the university and adult education sector a substantial amount of new construction is anticipated in the short term.
In the second phase of the study a written survey was held among 550 educational institutions in all three sectors to establish the factors determining whether or not steps had been taken in buildings or processes to reduce energy use and thus CO2 emissions. Based on the 236 survey forms returned a number of conclusions could be drawn.
In the secondary school sector, the differences in terms of professionalism, decision-making procedures and the roles of the various players makes it difficult to positively identify any points for policy leverage. The schools themselves cited subsidy schemes as being by far the greatest incentive for energy saving. This is hardly surprising, given the limited budget of schools in general and the budgets available for these kind of measures in particular. Most schools cited energy companies as being the main source of information on energy saving, followed by outside consultants (particularly at primary schools). There was a marked preference for personal advice over all other forms of information.