Where schools have no funds available or only sufficient funds for a small system, the solar panels are paid for and owned by a Community Benefit Society that raises money from the local community and socially minded funders.
Schools provide the roof space for the panels and pay for any electricity from the solar panels that they actually use, at a pre-agreed, low starting price.
The Community Benefit Society collects the income from sale of electricity to the school, the grid and the government’s Feed-in-Tariff and uses this income to pay for monitoring, management, insurance, maintenance, spare parts, pay funders 5% interest and repay their initial investment over time.
Any surplus profit is shared with the participating schools. Equally if Solar for Schools is able to re-finance the projects at a lower cost of finance with ethical funding groups, it can pay back investors faster and this will improve profits and returns to schools. With the additional income, schools can invest in further teaching and learning opportunities; that will add value to their school over the contract period.