Schools will be obliged to plan for electric vehicles under climate action measures added to a scheme of school building repairs and upgrades.
Criteria added to the 2020 summer works scheme sees schools that receive funding for car parking and play areas required to include a point for electric vehicle charging.
A €30m package for more than 400 schools will be announced today, with the funding allocated to carry out specialist improvements.
Included in this are a number of schools which applied for funding for external projects under the 2016/2017 scheme.
This summer, more than 1,160 schools applied for funding through the summer works programme.
Priority has been given to upgrading fire alarms, smoke detectors and emergency lighting, as well as funding new surfaces on play areas and car parks. Under legislation, schools are now required to report their energy use annually online to the Sustainable Energy Association of Ireland (SEAI).
From 2020 onwards, projects approved under the summer works scheme will also be required to register with the SEAI, and commit to submitting the appropriate returns before payments will be issued in respect of the project.
The climate action initiative has been included in next year’s summer works scheme to ensure schools future proof for electric vehicles, according to Joe McHugh, Minister for Education.
“The climate action element of next year’s summer works is a sensible plan for the future,” he said.
“More and more electric charging points are coming on stream and it is symbolic that schools will be demonstrating how important initiatives like this are.
“The work will be carried out in schools mainly over the summer months, so the disruption to students, teachers and other staff will be kept to a minimum.”
He added: “We have also made sure that schools are getting the notification several weeks earlier than last year to try to give principals and boards of management a better lead-in time to plan and then get the work done.
“I am confident that school authorities will be able to achieve best value for money on prices for jobs and I’m urging school authorities to ensure that they get the maximum benefit for their schools,” said Mr McHugh.
Schools approved for the 2020 summer works scheme are being notified by the Department of Education with further details.