For most people, solar panels are synonymous with residential and commercial use. People put solar panels on their homes to cover electric bills, and augment their commercial buildings to draw new business and “go green.” But what happens when solar panels are added to the layout of schools, colleges or universities? Today, solar panel installations in schools are becoming more popular.
As it does, it’s decreasing the environmental impact of these institutions and making them greener and more eco-friendly. In many cases, eco-friendly universities may also see increased enrolment and greater interest levels across the student base.
Why Should my School go Solar? 5 Smart Reasons
Solar panels for schools have many benefits. In addition to decreasing an institution’s carbon footprint, solar panels also generate a great deal of power. Here are a few of the most significant benefits of solar panels for schools:
1. Solar Panels Work Well on Most Educational Premises Roofs
Most residential homes have pitched roofs, which can make adding solar panels difficult. Universities, colleges and schools, on the other hand, typically have flat, expansive roofs made of materials that are ideal for solar panel installation.
In addition to providing plenty of open, unshaded space for solar panels to work to their highest potential, these roofs are also unlikely to feature sensitive materials, like wood shingles, which can make solar installation more challenging. Since roof angle and material have a major impact on the effectiveness of solar arrays, this is excellent news for any college or university that wants to install panels.
2. Solar Power Will Reduce Operating Costs for the School
Electricity prices have risen over the past ten years and they will keep rising. Because they use a great deal of electricity, schools and universities have been some of the primary victims of these price hikes.
Fortunately, solar power is a free source of energy, found in abundance throughout the world, and advanced technology and skilled installers have made it even more accessible for institutions.
In fact, colleges and universities have access to some of the least expensive (in terms of cost-per-watt) systems available. As systems get larger, their cost per watt price falls. This means colleges and universities can enjoy affordable power without the guessing game of the grid.
3. Solar Power Could Help Boost Enrolment
Solar power is cutting-edge and attractive to eco-minded students, teachers, and supporters. As such, a college or university that installs a solar panel system could easily see an increase in enrolment.
This is especially true in competitive areas, where having solar panels on a building could be the factor that distinguishes one university from its competitors in the eyes of potential enrol-lees.
When modern students choose schools, many of them look for options that offer environmentally-conscious practices, renewable power, and eco-friendly facilities. As such, some colleges and universities have even established Sustainability Offices designed to drive the institution’s green initiatives forward.
When these things all come together at a single institution, it’s easy for that school to gain a reputation for innovativeness and creativity. Not only do solar panels produce energy, but they also stand out as a unique social and cultural symbol.
4. Solar Power Provides Unlimited and Reliable Energy
For universities, schools, and residences alike, solar power systems offer a dependable source of unlimited energy. While fossil fuels are a finite source of energy, solar power is not. Designed to work on cloudy days, in part sun, and even in wintery environments, solar panels can generate a significant amount of power for universities and schools that install them. Some studies have show savings or up to 90% on electricity bills.
5. Solar Arrays at Colleges Helps Drive Solar Power Forward
To invest in solar panels, people need to see them at work, first. Since universities are busy public places, campuses that install solar panels do the important work of driving the solar industry forward by providing greater exposure for solar arrays. This is especially true for universities that install large, campus-powering systems.
Unless people have the opportunity to see solar panels at work, they can feel relatively strange and alien. Luckily, students, faculty, and visitors who come into contact with solar panels on university campuses have the opportunity to learn how the arrays work. This helps familiarise people with the panels and, hopefully, inspire them to invest in solar energy on their own accords.
The Future of University Solar Installs Looks Bright
Today, colleges and universities have a great deal to gain when it comes to the installation of solar panels. Ideal for reducing energy bills and cutting costs associated with powering a school’s facilities, solar panels are an eco-friendly addition that can also have wide-reaching social and cultural impacts, and companies like Elco Group are installing more and more of them.
When students see a school, university or college taking steps to go green and reduce their carbon footprint, it could easily impact the student’s attendance decision and result in higher enrolment numbers for the school. What’s more, since tax rebates and free solar are available for schools that want to install solar panels, it’s an affordable option that will pay.