Schoolchildren advised to bundle up as schools turn heating down
Almost half of 100 schools surveyed by EenVandaag are turning the heating down this winter to conserve energy. One in five schools will lower the temperature two degrees or more, EenVandaag reports.
Old construction, poor insulation and already-tight budgets mean that schools are worried about looming higher energy prices. At one school in Oude-Tonge, parents are told to send their children with a warm sweater.
"The temperature is now set at 19.5 degrees, while it should actually be 21 degrees to be comfortable in the school," said John Damen of KBS De Nobelaer in Oude-Tonge.
However, some schools will keep the temperature the same, while others said they had not yet made a plan for the upcoming months. A few are looking into sustainable improvements they can make to cut energy costs, such as installing heat pumps, according to EenVandaag.
However, investing in better insulation is not feasible for some schools that are already slated to get new buildings. "In an old school building with little insulation, it becomes unaffordable for us," a participant told EenVandaag. "We have a lot of energy loss through walls, windows and roof; no wall, roof or window insulation."
The survey revealed that many schools are concerned about spending money on energy bills that should be going to education. "I think we have spent a lot of money intended for education on the high energy costs," one respondent told EenVandaag.
The Primary Education Council (PO-Raad) observed that many schools had similar concerns. "I hope that compensation will be made in time for schools that are in acute need and that we will soon not have to choose between paying gas or firing a teacher," chairman Freddy Weima told EenVandaag.