British Gas, said to be Britain’s greenest energy supplier, is turning some of its green status into a mission to deliver 15 million pounds Sterling investment worth of solar technology to British schools for free. The utility said that it should have enough material available to initially outfit up to 750 schools with solar panels to offset electricity costs.
The investment, broken down by school, turns out to be worth between 20,000 and 40,000 pounds per school. It is believed these solar installations should help the schools to cut as much as 20 percent of their annual electric bills. The energy produced by the panels is anticipated to create around 1.3m pounds per year for the next 25 years. This will be reinvested in installing solar panels on yet more schools, with it being thought that within five years there could be free solar panels on as many as 1,100 schools.
The amount of panels being installed could, in theory, reduce emissions by up to 1,400 tonnes per year, which is the equivalent to taking almost 400 cars off the road. British Gas said it has already earmarked half of the total investment to ensure that schools in low income areas benefit from the initiative, and also plans to install at each school a smart meter to help students and teachers understand the difference their solar panels are making. Interested schools need to register at Generation Green, which is a site British Gas has established to help young students learn about ways they can better green their local communities.
“This is a very generous offer and I’m sure many schools will feel they can benefit from solar panels,” said U.K. Schools Minister Nick Gibb in a statement. “Cutting down on energy costs and reducing carbon emissions are absolutely the right thing to do. It’s a valuable lesson for pupils that we can all help to use energy sparingly, and where possible, generate it from sustainable or renewable resources.”