A primary school in Cornwall has become one of the first schools to benefit from a new energy efficiency initiative launched by the Diocese of Truro.

Mawnan Primary School will pilot the new scheme which has been introduced by the Diocese to offer church schools the opportunity for free energy audits. 

It has also recently secured funding from the Church of England’s national team to appoint a support officer to help those schools cut their carbon footprint.

So far, Mawnan Primary has found that it could save up to £3,600 each year just by optimising its energy control system setting.

Other schools have also discovered the significant long-term savings that can be made by adopting such simple approaches as installing energy-saving devices on fridges and freezers and switching to low-energy lighting.

Mawnan School’s headteacher, Jilly Pridmore said: “The process was really easy and incredibly professional.

“It did help that the person who came in to do it was really knowledgeable and really interested.”


One of the first things their survey turned up was that their control box had been set to give them hot water 24/7 –which an electrician was called for to be fixed straight away.

“It’s incredibly important that schools do this”, Jilly adds. “The superficial things we do as a school to save energy – like turning lights out – are just the tip of the iceberg.”

The school has now been awarded additional capital funding from the Department for Education’s decarbonisation grant, and they have even more ambitious plans for longer-term green developments.

“We’ve got a flat roof which would be ideal for solar panels, and we’re also talking about having an electric vehicle charging point put in,” said Jilly.

The education support officer at the Diocese of Truro, Helen Petty has been working with church schools to coordinate this process. She said: “Our schools have been very keen to get in on the full roll-out of this scheme.

“It’s a brilliant opportunity for schools to have these reports funded by the Diocese as an indicator of some easy first steps that be followed to reduce carbon emissions, and also as a pointer to capital projects, which can be fully investigated by further in-depth surveys.”

Helen stresses the importance of such work in meeting the ongoing challenge of the global environmental emergency: “We’re aiming towards net zero, and any action that can be taken is going to help us reach that goal.

“People have been sunbathing in Cornwall this October, this climate disaster is clearly already upon us.”