Schools across the country are struggling with funding issues, and the Covid-19 pandemic has only made that worse.
One of the major challenges schools are facing is rising electricity costs. And that’s where we see one of the major benefits of solar panels for schools.
By going solar, you are no longer relying on electricity companies to provide the power you need to run your school. The money you save can be funneled into other areas of your school that need the funding.
Benefits of Solar Panels for Schools
When it comes to the benefits of scholar panels, there are different groups who benefit from making the change to solar energy.
Some of these benefits might seem quite obvious, like protecting the environment and saving money, but there are many more benefits.
Benefits for Schools
The major benefit for a school is the reduction in electricity costs. Electricity is one of the major costs that schools have to face.
There are so many lights and computers and appliances that need to be on for a school to run. When using grid electricity, schools are depending on the fluctuating cost of electricity from electric companies.
When a school switches to solar energy, they no longer have to pay these companies. If the school installs solar itself, there will be almost no electricity costs if they install enough panels.
If the school goes through a third party, then there will still be costs, but they will be greatly reduced because of the nature of solar energy.
With these savings, schools can be reallocated into a wide range of other areas, like teachers’ salaries and educational equipment.
With under-funding being such a prevalent problem, and electricity being a major cost for schools, switching to solar panels can make a big difference to your bottom line.
Not only are you helping the environment, but you are also freeing up money to deal with other high-priority issues your school has to deal with.
Being perceived as environmentally friendly is also a major benefit. This shows that your school is a leader in the fight against climate change, and makes you more appealing to potential sponsors.
Just like selling a house with solar panels, installing a solar system can also increase the value of your school.
Benefits for Students
For the students, the school is setting the example of being environmentally friendly. Rather than simply talking about the importance of taking care of our planet, by switching to solar energy, your school is committing to making a positive change.
This can create a knock-on effect where students are more likely to participate in other green initiatives, like recycling projects.
Running your school on solar energy also has major benefits for the teaching of the students. When it comes to science, they have a real-life example of what clean energy looks like.
You can encourage them to do interactive projects, such as determining the efficiency of 200-watt solar panels. Students could also study the impact that roof angles and sunlight hours on the amount of collar energy captured.
Having solar panels installed in a school also allows students to gain a more concrete understanding of how the sun’s energy can be converted into electricity.
It will also make them more mindful of their energy consumption, and create more incentives for other green initiatives.
Benefits for the Community
In emergency situations, schools are often a place where people go to shelter. If there are severe weather conditions or a risk of a tornado, schools provide a large, safe place for the community to gather.
If your school is running off of solar energy, there’s a better chance that it will still have power if the rest of the electricity in the neighborhood goes down.
This is why it’s also important for schools investing in solar energy to have a solar generator. This allows for a backup supply of energy, especially when used with a deep-cycle solar battery that stores the energy produced by the sun.
Because of the size of a school, you will likely need to have more than one generator, but you can also expand your solar system at any point.
As a school, you are an important part of the community and can lead by example when it comes to clean energy. By using solar power, you can help the community answer questions such as whether solar panels power an entire house.
Benefits for the Environment
Last and certainly not least, there are huge environmental benefits to making the change to solar energy.
Most of the electricity used in the U.S. at the moment is produced by burning fossil fuels such as coal and gas, and these are contributing to the pollution of our planet.
By switching to solar energy, your school can help to keep our earth safe for us and future generations.
Managing the Costs
One of the major obstacles to installing large-scale solar systems is the large upfront costs. While going solar can save you money in the long run, you still need to be able to invest in installation.
Luckily, there are a number of different ways that schools can finance their solar installations.
Some of these do depend on the state you are in, so make sure to check the state-specific legislation. You can also look at the best states for solar power.
Federal and State Funding
You can look into some of the funding opportunities offered by the government. A lot of these are state-dependent, so if you are looking to install solar panels in your school, make sure to check the information for your specific state.
There are a number of incentives to switch to solar power, as governments realize the importance of clean energy.
One of these is the federal tax credit that allows you to claim back 26% of the cost of installations done between 2020 and 2022.
You can search for grants and other incentives that are available for schools specifically. This is becoming more common as more schools begging to think about switching to solar energy.
Power Purchase Agreements
Another way that schools can fund their solar systems is through Power Purchase Agreements, where a third party will install, own, and maintain the solar panels on the school’s grounds.
The school avoids the large initial investment and then purchases electricity from this third party at a lower rate than traditional energy companies.
However, this option is not available in all states, so you will need to research whether this is an option for your school.
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