Page last updated at 15:49 GMT, Friday, 23 May 2008 16:49 UK

PC uses 'less energy than bulb'

Inspectors found schools were not pursuing "sustainability"

An eco-conscious schools computer is being launched which it is claimed will use less energy than a standard household light bulb.

It follows a critical report from Ofsted claiming that schools show too little environmental awareness.

Educational technology company, RM, says the latest version of Ecoquiet computer runs on less than 50 watts.

The company highlights that power use is now an issue for schools - for electricity costs and emissions.

This week a report from the Ofsted education watchdog warned that schools had not yet engaged with government plans for greener schools.

"Most of the schools visited had limited knowledge of sustainability or related initiatives," said inspectors in the report, Schools and Sustainability, A Climate for Change.

Power drop

RM, one of the big players in schools technology, is promising a wave of "sustainable ICT", which it claims will reduce energy bills and the size of a school's carbon footprint.

The Ecoquiet RM PC 50, being claimed as one of the lowest-energy computers available in the UK, operates on full load at about 47 watts. This is closer to a laptop's power use than the 60 to 250 watts used by some desktop computers.

Schools are being told by the government to become "models of energy efficiency", in a drive to have greener schools.

Under the government's Children's Plan, there is a target for all new school buildings to be carbon neutral by 2016.

However Ofsted inspectors have found only limited support for these ambitions.

"In most of the schools visited during the survey, there was little emphasis on sustainable development and limited awareness of national and local government policies for this area," concluded inspectors.

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