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Last updated: 09 March 2018

Solar Schools

What Is Pushing Schools Towards Going Solar?

Firstly, many schools across the UK are continuously being hit by huge electricity bills. Due to this, many schools are left with limited resources, which leads to a slower, if any, progress. So how this change?

More and more educational institutions are turning to the Sun in hope of improving the situation they are in. Schools going solar is slowly developing into somewhat of a trend, and it makes perfect sense! By investing in solar energy, schools can save a significant amount of money. Annual savings from payments from energy suppliers and power exports to the grid plus savings from in-house electricity bills are roughly estimated to a total of 240m£(for the whole of UK). Anyone can agree that with such amount of extra cash, schools can drastically improve conditions for students(playgrounds, trips, salaries and etc.)

How Does This Affect the Whole Community?

Schools are already a pivotal part of our community, but by utilizing the potential of solar energy their contribution to local communities can increase quite a bit. Aside from generating enough clean energy to power up more than 350,000 homes, the carbon emission they can reduce equals to removing more than 100,000 cars from the road on an yearly basis. This will give schools a role of solar-power stations.

Well, What’s Stopping Schools From Doing It? 

Many of the educational institutions are not even aware that they can go solar, but for those that are, the high upfront cost is an obstacle too big to overcome.Therefore many schools are forced to more or less give up on the decision to install solar panels.. Most schools just don’t have the required cash (£1,500 per kW). Borrowing money for the initiative would come to anyone’s mind almost immediately, but here’s the tricky part. Schools can’t borrow cash for installing solar panels, but they can do so for insulation for instance.

However, there are a few ways to get around this situation. More and more organizations are interested in the case and are starting somewhat of a movement. Different ways of funding are being utilized, crowdfunding being the main one. So far it’s working great, but it could be better. 

Local councils are directly affected by this issue and should therefore be more than willing to help their schools take that step forward. For instance, the massive electricity bills that schools are just handing in to the big energy companies can be kept and there could be turned into savings. (read more here)

Back to crowdfunding now. Crowdfunding has proved to be a very efficient way to fund any project and schools going solar is no exception. Taking a closer look at it, it’s easy to see the reasons why it is so successful.

  • parents are more than likely to participate
  • many previous students could be willing to help out 
  • different organizations could be interested and could chip in
  • any person is likely to help out with whatever they can

But Why Should It Be so Complicated? Sun Drawing Small

The current ways around this issue just seem bizarre. After all, why should schools be unable to borrow cash for going solar? Most of the panels installed are estimated to pay off within 8 years, which certainly isn’t such a long period. Therefore the need for local council loans can be beaten, once the central government acts upon the issue and finally decides to let schools borrow cash for going solar. Anyway, there’s still more to come in this area

School Has the Finances, so What Now ?

There are many options for schools to choose from when it comes to picking the right solar panels. However, schools are not expected to be solar energy gurus and therefore it might be hard to know exactly what their building needs (improving or installing insulation and more)

Therefore schools need to reach out and find proper assistance. To receive the appropriate service they have to get in touch with companies that are specialized in the area. As costs would have to be minimized a free service might be of great interest to schools. 

Who Provides Such Free Services?

The one that comes to mind first is a company called GreenMatch. They provide clients with great deal of information about alternative energy solutions. Clients are also directed straight to their nearest suppliers of the desired product (solar panels in this case) and they also get to choose between a few offers, which allows them to really find specifically what they need.(more about the services here)

Finally, there’s definitely progress to be made in this area, but it clearly gives us an idea of what the future is holding for schools. However, schools going solar is a must if we are to build a better and sustainable future for the next generations and after all, what’s more important than this ?

If you agree, feel free to contribute to the idea and give more schools the chance to go solar !