How schools are using crowdfunded solar panels to slash their energy bills
According to Local Authorities, the average secondary school spends £89,000 on its bills.
The average school pays £44 per student on energy each year.
Teachers have a lot to get through every day, but how can they improve, develop and learn? Downe House School’s Jane Basnett looks at the methods that have worked for her.
Eastwood Primary School and Nursery have embarked on a mission to power their classrooms with renewable energy.
What is the idea behind Solar Schools?
The idea is a simple one: everyone chips in a little bit of money to buy and install solar panels for a local school. The solar panels save money for the school by slashing their electricity bill. The schools will also earn an income through the Feed-In Tariff, which is a government incentive that rewards the production of renewable energy. This will free up money in the school’s budget for the really essential stuff, such as computers and books.
Why do schools need solar panels?
Clean energy, particularly solar panels, offer schools more than just a great way to reduce unnecessary costs. They also help to cut down on the emission of the greenhouse gases which are responsible for climate change. Schools are often where children learn about why it is important to switch off a light that is not in use, or why we should recycle waste rather than throw it away. Having solar panels on the school roof will help children to learn more about renewable energy.
Rebecca Perman, headteacher, explains that she is “delighted to take part in Solar Schools to secure solar panels and provide a positive visual platform to educate our pupils. We're working with two other schools in Eastwood to engage the whole local community on the importance of sustainability and carbon reduction.”
How much money will they have to raise?
The schools are aiming to raise £8,000 by the end of the summer. They are signed up to the Solar Schools project, which is a crowdfunding platform run by the charity 10:10. The children have taken part in a number of fund-raising activities, such as creating a promotional video which you can see on the solar schools website, sending out letters to local businesses, organising a cake sale and dressing up as rays of sunshine.
If you know a child at Heycroft or Eastwood and would like to donate, you can do so at http://www.solarschools.org.uk/eastwoodprimary/. If you would like to start crowdfunding for your school, then you can find out more details at the Solar Schools project on their website.