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Greener Government School Buildings Program

The Victorian Government is establishing itself as a climate change leader and has legislated an ultimate goal of net zero emissions by 2050.

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Round 2 of the Greener Government School Building program will support 36 solar power systems to save schools over $550,000 on power bills each year.

The Victorian Government has legislated a goal of net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. To support this goal, the government established the Greener Government School Buildings program to help schools become more sustainable. We're doing this by helping schools install solar power systems to generate renewable energy.

Our program provides upfront funding to install solar power systems. Schools pay the cost of the system back over 5 years. Once paid back, schools retain 50% of the savings.

Schools gain the benefits of the solar power system over time. These include lower electricity bills and helping the environment by reducing the school's carbon footprint.

    The 2021–22 program will invest over $2.4 million to install solar panel systems at 36 schools. In total, 232 schools are currently taking part in the Greener Government School Buildings program. Once fully implemented, the program is expected to annually:

    • achieve a total estimated installed capacity of 9,300 kilowatts across the school portfolio – enough to generate renewable electricity to power more than 1,100 houses
    • reduce greenhouse gas emissions by more than 14,000 tonnes – the same as removing 1,900 cars off the road
    • save schools more than $2.5 million on power bills.

    If you would like more information about the program, please contact the VSBA at greener.schools@education.vic.gov.au.

    Guidelines

    • The Greener Government School Buildings (GGSB) program aims to contribute to the Victorian Renewable Energy Target (VRET) and Climate Change Act (2017) greenhouse gas reduction target of net zero emissions by 2050.

      The overall program is intended to:

      • increase responsible generation and consumption of clean energy
      • provide energy-saving measures that will save schools money in the long term
      • increase the value of school assets
      • enable schools to actively contribute to greenhouse gas emissions reduction
      • link energy efficiency and sustainability program activities with school curriculum and resources.

      GGSB is part of the whole-of-government Greener Government Buildings program, funded by the Department of Treasury and Finance (DTF), that improves the energy efficiency of existing government buildings to reduce operating costs and greenhouse gas emissions.

    • In keeping with the whole-of-Victorian Government’s Greener Government Buildings (GGB) initiative, works undertaken through the GGSB program must adhere to the following conditions:

      • The cost of the solar power system installed through the GGSB program must be paid back in no more than 5 years’ time.
      • Once payback has been achieved, schools will forego 50% of the ongoing electricity cost savings to Consolidated Revenue (DTF) through a SRP funding reduction.

      Payback is required to be achieved through the cost savings generated from the solar power system installed through the GGSB program followed by invoices agreed with participating schools on an annual basis to facilitate the school payment process. Savings are calculated within the initial on-site assessment, based on electricity generation and consumption modelling.

      Once the cost of the solar power system has been paid back, schools then retain 50% of the savings.

      • The GGSB program is NOT a grant – the solar power system will be paid upfront by the GGSB program and is required to be paid back over five years’ time from the electricity savings generated and then 50% of ongoing savings is contributed to Consolidated Revenue (DTF)
      • Following the payback, schools retain the 50% of savings
      • Schools participating must adhere to the GGSB program conditions
      • Completing the application is an agreement to commit to the GGSB program
      • The maximum size of a solar power system to be installed under GGSB is 99.9kW
    • The GGSB program will be installing solar power systems for Victorian government schools. The amount of solar (that is, the capacity of the systems) will be determined by the VSBA as part of the assessment process outlined below and will be dependent on the feasibility and suitability of school buildings, together with considerations on electricity consumption, costs, meeting the conditions of the GGSB Program, and distributing available funding across schools.

      All solar panel and inverter modules and all installers performing works are Clean Energy Council accredited to ensure safety and compliance with Australian standards.

      The maximum capacity of the solar power system that can be funded through the program is 99.9kW, with no minimum sizing consideration.

    • Solar power systems will not be installed under the following conditions:

      • Building/s with suitably sized roof/s that are identified as over-entitled
      • Building/s with suitably sized roof/s that are not in adequate condition or are known to have latent conditions present therefore requiring further works beyond GGSB capacities
      • Building/s with suitably sized roof/s that have a compromised structure or roof leaks that would affect the installation of solar
      • Building/s with suitably sized roof/s that are unable to receive sufficient sunlight due to the angle of the roof tilt and/or building orientation (e.g. predominantly facing south), or shade from other elements (e.g. buildings, trees, air conditioning units)
      • Building/s that are expected to be deconstructed or replaced in the foreseeable future whether confirmed or planned;
      • Building/s that are expected to undergo significant works that would affect the installation of solar (e.g. roof replacement, MSB replacement)
      • Building/s that are not permanent structures
      • Building/s built in the last 12 months will not be considered until the Defect Liability Period expires

      The following will also not be funded under the GGSB program:

      • Systems over 99.9kW that would be deemed a power station
      • Battery storage for renewable energy
      • Previously installed or procured solar power systems or related modules
      • Decommissioning and/or removal of any existing solar power system
      • Roof or structural works
      • Updating, moving or changing switchboards
      • Works conducted for other renewable energy sources, such as wind, hydro, geothermal, etc.

    Reviewed 24 January 2023

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