Schools stand to benefit from going solar

Media Contacts
Johanna Neumann

Senior Director, Campaign for 100% Renewable Energy, Environment America

BOSTON – As millions of families and communities get back to school, Environment America released a new guide to help more school districts power their operations with solar energy. 

Environment America’s Green Schools Guide offers tips and resources for school officials, parents, teachers, and staff who want to bring the benefits of solar to their schools and communities. 

“Solar on schools reduces pollution and lowers energy bills,” said Johanna Neumann, Senior Director of the Campaign for 100% Renewable Energy at Environment America. “Figuring out how to go solar, and using federal tax credits to help pay for it, can be tricky, especially for school officials whose primary mission is getting our kids the best education possible.That’s why we created our green schools guide to make it easier for school districts to go solar in the 2023 school year.”

The Green Schools Guide encourages school officials who are interested in going solar to start by assessing their energy needs. From there, officials can determine their solar potential and make a financial plan to install solar panels. Thanks to clean energy tax credits available to schools through the Inflation Reduction Act, school districts stand to receive a credit for at least 30% of the cost of a school solar project and installation. In some places, state and utility incentives can help lower costs even further.

“Solar panel technology keeps improving and there’s never been a better time for schools to go solar,” said Neumann. “Given the fierce urgency of global warming, schools will be well-served to tap the abundant solar energy shining down on their buildings.”

The Green Schools Guide offers tips to parents, staff and other community members who want to start a campaign to encourage their school or district to go solar. The guide recommends that solar school advocates start their efforts by building a team and setting a goal. From there, they can work together to identify stakeholders, make and execute a campaign plan, and “win the win”, to inspire other schools to follow suit.

More than 6 million students attend public schools with solar installations and more than 8,400 schools — almost 1 in 10 public schools — nationwide have solar according to a 2022 report by Generation180. That number has tripled in just seven years. 

“When schools go solar, it’s an investment in the health of our children and a cleaner, greener future for our planet,” said Neumann.

staff | TPIN

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