School Spotlight aims to highlight each and every one of the unique schools within the Solar Schools program. This month we caught up with Brentwood Secondary College (Victoria) who were the winners of our ‘Smart Energy for Switched-On Students’ giveaway run by Wattwatchers Digital Energy and Solar Schools, as partners in the My Energy Marketplace (MEM) project. As winners, the school received a three-year energy and education package worth over $7000. Venkata Kalva, the Pathways Manager and Sustainability Coordinator generously answered a few of our questions.

How would you describe your school?
Brentwood Secondary College is a 7-12 government school located in Glen Waverley. At Brentwood, We strive to ensure that our students learn in a connected community so that they grow as individuals who are future ready, a future that is sustainable for everyone!

Did your school have Energy and/or Sustainability measures put in place before joining the Solar Schools program?
Brentwood is a five-Star ResourceSmart School and winner of Premier’s Sustainability Award 2021, ResourceSmart School of the Year 2022. Brentwood installed a 99 kW solar PV system, LED lighting, and brought behaviour change amongst the community to conserve energy, which has seen a 27% reduction in our energy usage during 2015-2019 (pre-COVID)!

Does the Solar Schools program help your teaching team achieve education objectives?
The Solar Schools program offers a suite of teaching resources aligned with the Australian Curriculum that can be run with students within/outside the classrooms.

Does the Solar Schools program help students achieve energy/sustainability goals at school and home?
The Knowledge Bank section on the Solar Schools website equips students with the necessary knowledge and skills to understand their energy usage and conservation measures. The learnings from this can not only have a greater impact at the college but also on the wider community.

What’s next? Does the school have any other sustainability initiatives in the works?
Brentwood has been working on their ambitious ‘Towards Zero Bremissions’ campaign, that aims to reduce/offset our current 540 tons of greenhouse gas emissions to zero by 2030. As a part of this campaign we are considering investing in more renewable energies, planting trees, continue recycling, composting at the college. For further information on our projects and progress, please visit our website.