Making Government Schools Energy Efficient

Government schools are set to become greener and more environmentally sustainable while reducing their electricity costs, thanks to the Andrews Government.

Member for Narre Warren South Gary Maas, today announced that River Gum Primary School in Hampton Park is among 171 government schools across Victoria that will receive solar power systems under the Greener Government School Buildings program.

The $8.8 million program aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions at schools and save them money by installing solar power systems. The program will contribute to the Victorian Government’s goal of net zero emissions by 2050.

A solar power system is a strategic investment that can pay for itself over several years. This program will remove the upfront costs of installing a system that may otherwise discourage schools from pursuing this option.

The Greener Government School Buildings program is established from the success of the pilot program rolled out across 42 schools in 2019.

The solar power systems installed as part of the 2020-21 Greener Government School Buildings program are expected to see 6,974 kW of solar installed, with an estimated saving of $1.8 million per year and 10,200 tonnes of carbon emissions abated.

The program will assist River Gum Primary School’s installation of a $44,200, 38.5 kW solar system that should see 54.16 tonnes of carbon emissions abated, while helping the school save money in the long term.

By June 2022, in total the program is expected to see 8,200 kW of solar installed, with an estimated saving of $2 million per year and 11,500 tonnes of carbon emissions abated.

In the past five years, the Andrews Government has invested more than $9 billion in more than 1,600 school upgrades – creating more than 10,000 construction jobs.

The State Government is now ahead of schedule on its commitment to open 100 new schools by 2026, with 48 new schools opening between 2019 and 2022.

Quotes attributable to Minister for Education James Merlino

 “We’re taking action to make these schools more sustainable and more energy efficient, so we can all do our bit for the environment.”

 “Not only will the environment benefit from this program, installing solar panel systems will help reduce power bills for our schools.”


Quotes attributable to the Member for Narre Warren South Gary Maas

 “The Greener Government School Buildings program enables schools to actively contribute to the reduction of greenhouse emissions while moving to clean energy and reducing their long term costs.”

 “River Gum Primary is a fantastic local school and this program will help them to continue to play their part in reducing emissions and educating the next generation on sustainability.”

 “Every initiative whether big or small has a major impact on our collective efforts to ultimately reach net zero emissions in Victoria.”


2nd March 2021