Solar Energy For Reading Schools

17 August 2011, 06:00 | Updated: 18 August 2011, 16:39

Heart's found out £5 million is being spent putting solar panels on school roofs in Reading.

The borough council have approved the plans at a special Cabinet meeting last night.

Energy costs have tripled over the last ten years and are continuing to rise with a record hike this year.

Councillors say using solar panels to generate power means energy bills will be cut by thousands every year.

In fact, the council reckons every school that uses the panels will save, on average, up to £3,000 pounds a year.

Around 30 schools have already said they would be interested in taking part.

The authority believes they will recoup their investment in about 10-12 years by selling electricity back to the National Grid through the Government's tariff scheme.

This is where energy companies would pay the council for every unit of energy the panels produce.

This could mean an income of up to £14,000 a year for some school buildings.

John Ennis, Lead councillor for education and children's services said:

"Any building as large as a school can be very expensive to run, so help towards the cost of expensive energy bills is very welcome.

"As well as the huge energy and environmental benefits, children who have solar panels on their school roof will get to see how they work and learn about the benefits of renewable energy sources".

Meanwhile the council has also partnered with an international carbon reduction organisation, 10:10.

They're starting a solar project in the town in September, where they help 7 schools raise money to buy their own solar panels and also give advice on how to reduce their carbon footprint.