Solar Schools has launched the second year of its campaign aiming to help schools cut carbon, boost budgets and help engage pupils with renewable energy generation.

The first year of the campaign successfully raised funds for solar installations on 14 schools across the UK from Five Islands Schools on the Isles of Scilly to Springwell School in Hartlepool.

Energy minister Greg Barker welcomed the scheme, stating: “This is a genuinely exciting technology that will help schools generate their own energy, while saving money and cutting carbon at the same time. It’s great to see Solar Schools spearheading the installation of solar PV in schools up and down the country”.

The scheme, which is run by 10:10, provides schools taking part in the campaign with advice, training and support as well as extensive fundraising materials to help them meet their target amount. Since the campaign entered its second year, 19 schools have already started their fundraising efforts.  

Justine Roberts, CEO of Mumsnet, has added her support for the scheme, writing to her own kids' school urging them to sign up. She said: “We can all do something positive for our local school and the planet – encourage them to get on board with Solar Schools. They make it easy and fun for schools to install solar panels so they cut carbon, save money on energy bills, and earn extra cash for school projects.”

10:10 believes that schools are ideally placed for solar arrays because their peak demand occurs during the day, closely matching the output of a solar array. By Solar School’s calculations, schools with solar installed can expect to save an average of £475 a year on energy bills. The fundraising platform also means that schools will own the system outright, allowing them to benefit from feed-in tariff payments.

One of the school’s looking to raise the required funds for a solar installation is Fleet Primary School in Camden. Barb Turk, parent governor, Fleet Primary School, explained: “The school was keen to further develop our awareness of and commitment to sustainability. We decided to go with Solar Schools because we wanted the sense of ownership that comes with the effort required – and the years 4, 5 and 6 Business after-school club wanted a project that would teach them about fundraising and raising awareness.”

Amy Cameron, Solar Schools campaign manager, concluded: “Solar Schools is a chance for pupils, parents, local businesses, former students and everyone else to do something good for their school, their community, and the whole world, and we can help them achieve that.”