Why solar power can help schools save money

As a result of years of austerity budgets, schools and colleges in Brighton and Hove are used to juggling scarce funds.

Research by the Institute of School Business Leadership1 indicates that energy costs are typically the second highest expenditure in schools after teachers and staff.

But at Brighton & Hove Energy Services Co-operative (BHESCo), we believe we have found a way to help schools make big savings while also helping the UK meet its climate change targets.

By taking steps to improve insulation and by installing renewable energy technologies like solar panels, schools can reduce the amount of money they have to spend on heating and energy bills, making more money available to spend on teaching resources and staff.

Not only will introducing low-carbon energy measures minimise monthly outgoings, but improvements to lighting, heating or cooling will contribute to a better learning environment.

Why schools can show climate leadership by installing solar panels

Today’s young generation demand urgent action and leadership on the climate emergency.

As demonstrated by the recent school climate strikes and the popularity of climate action groups such as Extinction Rebellion, many young people are deeply concerned about the threat of climate change and feel let down by many of their leaders and the older generation.

Installing solar panels delivers a clear signal to students and the wider community that your school or college is committed to showing leadership in the fight against climate change.

When covering environmental aspects of the school curriculum, what better way of bringing the climate emergency to life than through tangible examples of energy efficiency and renewable energy generation in your own school or college?

Paul Pillai - Solar power schools - the montessori place - brighton hove energy services

“The subliminal daily message of having the lights powered by the sun is the most powerful teacher we have in preparing our children for a future where they consider the wellbeing of the planet as being synchronous with their own.”

Mr P Pillai, Director at Montessori Place School

Why schools are great candidates for solar power

Schools and colleges are often ideal candidates for generating solar power. 

Their buildings are used throughout the day when solar power is at its peak, and they often have large roofs that provide ample space for large solar arrays. Depending on individual circumstances, other appropriate energy generating systems might include battery storage or the installation of air source or ground source heat pumps.

Beyond the energy, carbon and cost savings, school solar installations are a powerful demonstration to students, parents and the wider community of sustainability in action. They offer real life examples that can compliment the school curriculum and instill the next generation with the confidence that we can heat and power our lives in an environmentally friendly way.

BHESCo's proven track record of solar power for schools and colleges in Sussex

BHESCo have installed rooftop solar power installations on 9 schools and colleges in Sussex which are delivering incredible financial and carbon savings.

Over their operational lifetime, BHESCo’s solar power projects at schools and colleges in Sussex will:

Our school and college solar projects include:

Varndean College

Hill Park School

Brunswick Primary

Tarnerland Nursery

Saltdean Primary

Plumpton College

Montessori Place

Patcham Junior

Hertford Infants

How you can help BHESCo put more solar panels on school roofs

BHESCo have designed a suite of new solar power school projects which we are now fundraising for. 

We are looking to raise £580,000 to install solar panels on five schools across Brighton and Hove. 

We are welcoming investment into our 2023 Bond Offer, which is offering investors an interest rate of 5%. Our bond is eligible to be wrapped inside of an Innovative Finance ISA, which means all interest earned from the bond is tax free. 

We expect these new solar power projects to deliver multiple benefits to the schools, including:

1.85 million lifetime savings

1,271 tonnes CO2 savings

We invite you to put your money to work helping our schools get more solar power on their buildings, driving down long-term carbon emissions and energy costs and setting an inspiring example for students.

By participating in our Bond Offer, you will be joining hundreds of other forward-thinking investors who have invested in BHESCo’s innovative business model, supporting our vital work reducing energy bills and carbon emissions in our community. 

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