Deciding whether to go with a Carrot or a stick approach is something that needs to be decided at times, but more often than not, the carrot is the best bet. One of the key aims of 21st century life is to try and reduce energy usage.
Schools use a lot of energy and they are usually powered by some sort of fossil fuel. I propose that every school is given a certain energy target to reach depending on a number of factors – energy rating of buildings, type of fuel used to heat the building, size of the school, age of the school, etc. and if the school scores below that figure, the school is financially rewarded.
There are a number of advantages to this idea. It can remove the need for schools to pay energy bills and the government can budget for energy usage and target schools that may need help. Here are a couple of examples.
School A is given an energy target of 100. This figure is arbitrary for the purposes of the example. At the end of the year, the school only uses 96 of these credits. The government still pay whatever 100 means in money but 96 of it goes to the energy company and 4 goes to the school.
School B also gets 100 credits but uses 104. The government take the hit of the extra 4 but then work with the school to reduce their energy use and they pay back their excess credits over time. The government might see that the building needs some repair or work rather than the problem lying with the school’s lack of care and this can be fixed.
Credits can be used for anything but wouldn’t it be nice to take it even further so that schools could save the credits to invest in greener alternatives to their energy source. The energy companies might help out by supporting schemes where credits can be traded in for wind farms or solar panels or anything else!