Valencia, 50/50: an educational project to reduce energy consumption in schools

The City Council of Valencia, Spain, has launched an initiative to reduce the consumption of energy and water in Municipal schools. It is called 50/50 as a half of the money saved is run by pupils and the other half by the school management


In Europe, a lot of electricity and water is often wasted in schools, and pupils do not receive correct information about how to save energy. Consequently, the Valencia City Council has started an initiative to foster good practices among students and the entire education community alike, including teachers, management, and cleaning and canteen staff.

Thanks to this project, about 9,600 m3 of water and more than 204,000 kW of energy have been saved in one year, which means savings for 34,000 euros. Additionally, more than 106 metric tons of CO2 emissions have been avoided. This is the equivalent of a car travelling half a million kilometres or what 200 trees absorb in 50 years.

The initiative, which involved ten Municipal schools, is called 50/50. Pilar Ponce, director of the Federico García Lorca school, explains: “The City Council gives us the savings in money: 50% to improve the facilities of the centre and the remaining 50% goes on interventions decided by the pupils (for example expanding green spaces, improving the playground etc.) The first thing we did was to install an energy display panel, where the children can evaluate our savings, month by month, in electricity, water and gas.”

“We have made the pupils responsible for closing windows in all the classrooms, turning off the screens or computers when they are no longer in use, warning if any tap is left on and so on. The results have been very positive, and they have had a good impact inside and outside the school.”

The educational initiative has been carried out under the EU smart city project MAtchUP, aimed at fostering a more liveable urban environment.

Watch the video interview with Pilar Ponce:

By Claudio Rocco