Okehampton College wins international energy prize worth $100,000
A Devon college has won a major international award for its pioneering work on energy efficiency, renewable energy and carbon reduction.
Okehampton College won the Zayed Future Energy Prize after cutting its reliance on fossil fuels by 50% over the past four years.
It will spend the $100,000 (£63,000) prize fund to install wind turbines on campus to reduce its consumption of fossil fuel-derived energy.
The school wants to be seen as an exemplar for reducing energy costs in the education sector as it strives to an ultimate aim of having zero energy bills.
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It claims not only to have reduced its own carbon footprint, but also have helped organisations including the National Trust, local authorities and around 200 schools.
Keith Webber, project leader, said: "To be awarded the Zayed Future Energy Prize is an incredible honour for the college and we are absolutely delighted to have been chosen as the European Global High School prize winner.
"The prize is the biggest international accolade for innovation in sustainable energy development so it really is a fantastic achievement for us."
Sustainable energy projects being run at the college include after school monitoring clubs and behaviour change campaigns. It has implemented other technical measures including low energy lighting, high efficiency boilers, double glazing and draught proofing.
Mr Webber added: "Many large schools are capable of spending in excess of £1,000 per day on energy but not so Okehampton College where the daily energy expenditure varies between £400 and nothing.
"Our ultimate goal is to have almost zero emissions with zero bills and winning the Zayed Future Energy Prize will help us make another huge step towards that. We are also very grateful to Edf Energy's Green Fund which is providing generous support for our projects as well."
Ian Courtney, chairman of school governors, said "Okehampton is a Town with a plan and a bright future. The College has a magnificent reputation and is part of a growing federation of schools that is providing first class education. I am truly delighted with all the fantastic things that are happening and planned for the College and the town. I must congratulate the staff and students on the great things happening at the College."
College principal, Daryll Chapman and sixth form student Bryony Franco were awarded the prize at the Emirates Palace in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.
The annual awards celebrate innovation, leadership and long term vision in renewable energy and sustainability.