All schools in the UK are eligible to put themselves forward to the company in order to win solar panels, worth between £20,000 and £40,000 each. Schools will need to demonstrate they are amongst the most sustainable in the country before winning the panels, which could cut as much as 20% off a school’s annual electricity bill.
Under the competition, up to 750 schools will receive free solar panels, with around half of the prizes going to schools in low income areas.
In addition to the solar panels, schools will also receive a free energy display meter. This is expected to help reduce energy consumption by a further 10-15%.
The competition comes from British Gas’s Generation Green programme, a 10,000 strong schools programme which rewards schools for green actions. Pupils earn “Green Leaves” for sustainable behaviour – supported through an online teaching hub - which can be redeemed against green prizes. Any winning “Solar Schools” will receive tailored lesson plans from the Generation Green online hub, allowing them to make the most of their new solar panels.
Schools can join the competition by filling in the application form on http://www.generationgreen.co.uk/solarpanels/
Judges will be looking at the school’s commitment to sustainability, its ability to engage and benefit the wider community and the overall originality of their entry. Schools can also provide any supporting material that might help demonstrate their commitment to sustainability. This could range from case studies, photos, videos, presentations, press cuttings or even petitions signed by the local community
Interested schools should apply by 22nd October. Following this, a short list of schools will be decided and winners will be announced in November.
Graham Jones MP said:
“This is a really exciting opportunity to encourage our schools to go green and to teach our children the importance of a greener future. Not to mention, saving schools money on their electricity bill. In addition around half of the awards will go to schools in poorer areas.”
“If you think that your local school would benefit from getting free solar panels, please spend five minutes filling out the form on the British Gas Generation Green website – there’s every chance that a school in Hyndburn could win the competition and save money and energy.”