A village school located in Powys, Wales has been given a complete makeover by British Gas as part of the company’s Green Streets programme. Pupils returned to Llangattock Church Primary School this week, met by newly insulated classrooms, cleanly pained walls, 10 sparkling computers, and the promise of solar power on the rooftop.

The British Gas Green Streets Challenge is a year-long competition to help communities find ways to save and generate energy.

The school’s Head teacher Hayley Smith said, “Everything feels so much cleaner and brighter – and that’s got to be good for everyone’s well-being. Plus it gives our pupils’ artwork the backdrop it really deserves. The standard of display in our school has always been exceptional, but until now it has been overshadowed by peeling walls and mismatched paint.”

British Gas is expected to install the solar photovoltaic roof panels on the school’s roof during the October half-term. As well as generating electricity the school will also benefit from the feed-in tariff payments.

“The Energy Saving Trust reckons that un-insulated buildings can lose almost 60% of their heat through the external walls and roof,” Ms Smith said.

“Being open plan makes it’s even more important for us to have good insulation. We’ve got that now, thanks to Green Streets, so we’re looking forward to cheaper heating bills and a much more comfortable environment for pupils and staff.”
The school’s estimated extra income has been levelled at around £1,400 a year, plus fuel bill savings of around £370.

“We get £6,000 a year to spend on books, equipment and activities for the children and it’s never enough, so this is a really significant amount of money,” explained Ms Smith.

Rebecca Chick, British Gas employee engagement coordinator, said, “We do this as a team building exercise, but it’s much more than that.”

“Going out and helping communities is more than simply a day out of the office for our people. It’s about making a real difference, and that’s why the volunteers who’ve helped here have enjoyed it so much.

“Green Streets started out as a way for British Gas to help communities find ways to save energy and generate energy. But we’re finding its also opening doors to so many other opportunities. It just means looking at things a little bit differently and seeing how we can all work together for mutual benefit.”