The NSW government has announced that it will allocate $500 million in the state budget for air conditioning.
The new policy, called Cooler Classrooms, is intended to provide improved learning environments for classrooms and libraries in up to 1,000 schools.
“This funding will ensure thousands of classrooms that previously did not have air conditioning will now receive it,” Premier Gladys Berejiklian said.
As well as providing systems for existing schools, all new schools and school upgrades will have air conditioning installed in all classrooms and libraries. The announcement also includes funding for the removal of unflued gas heaters where new air conditioning is installed.
The statement says the initiative “will look at other factors that influence how a classroom feels for students such as humidity, the local microclimate, design of the classrooms and schools, as well the impact of hot days on students with specific needs.
“The commitment will improve the internal environmental quality of schools with ‘smart systems’ that offer heating, cooling, humidity control and outside fresh air to ensure students have healthy and comfortable environments to learn in.
“To ensure the initiative is sustainable, the power required will be offset by power generated by solar panels and, where possible, supported with battery storage. The systems will automatically shut down after hours.”