Applications are now open for 20 UK schools to participate in the Solar Schools project – providing them with a free comprehensive toolkit of training, materials and support to help fundraise the cost of buying their own solar panels. This year, there’s even more reason for schools to get involved. Once the fundraising begins, details of a filmmaking competition will be revealed with prizes of £5,000, £3,000 and £1,000 worth of solar panels available for three of the participating schools.
The Solar Schools project - run by climate change campaign 10:10 and sponsored by 100% renewable electricity supplier Good Energy - is heading into its third year and has already helped 50 schools to fundraise over £350,000 from their local communities. The 20 new participating schools will be coached and supported across one academic year, receiving a full set of online and offline resources completely free.
Juliet Davenport OBE, CEO and Founder, Good Energy said:
“Good Energy is really proud to be bringing sunshine into the classroom; helping children see science in action as they generate their own electricity. As well as supporting the schools in crowd-funding their solar panels, this year we’re really pleased to be offering a major financial contribution to help three of the participating schools reach their fundraising target.”
Professor Sir Tim Brighouse, former Schools Commissioner for London said:
“I know many of the schools involved in Solar Schools and I’m hugely impressed by its impact on community involvement and how it motivates students …Every school should be able to find a champion to move it from their wish list to reality.”
Government ministers recently visited a Solar School in Barnes, West London to recognise the work of the scheme and encourage others to go solar to help reduce the £500m energy bill of England’s 22,000 schools.
Sue Jepson, deputy headteacher at Barnes primary school which installed panels through the Solar Schools project in 2013 said:
“Solar Schools was an incredible opportunity for our school, and an experience that will benefit us for years to come. Not only are we now enjoying the great financial and environmental benefits of solar panels, but our pupils, staff and parents got a huge amount out of the fundraising process itself.”
Adam Stanley, deputy head at Liss Primary Schools, currently fundraising with Solar Schools said:
“Yes, Solar Schools will save us money but we want it to be part of the curriculum. Having panels means we can track in real terms how much energy we’re saving, how much money we’re saving, how much we’re reducing the carbon footprint. That’s something very real that leads into all sorts of curricular subjects.”
Amy Cameron, Solar Schools campaign manager said:
"The last few years of Solar Schools have seen communities from the Scilly Isles to Stockton-on-Tees achieve incredible things. Armed with our toolkit, training and support, they've raised over £350,000 to install solar PV on their roofs, while bringing people together to tackle climate change in a way that's local, tangible and positive.”
The Solar Schools project uses innovative crowdfunding techniques alongside traditional events and activities to help schools raise the money they need to buy their own solar panels – cutting carbon, boosting budgets and rallying communities together. Schools participating in the project install solar panels of around 8kWp on average. Over their lifespan, these panels can generate over £30,000 in bill savings and revenue from the government’s Feed-in Tariff scheme*.
Schools have until 6th June to start an application to be involved. Only those schools participating in the Solar Schools project will be eligible to take part in the film making competition later in the year.