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Case Study: Jackson Public School
Here at Greenwood Solutions, we recently finished a huge 100kW solar installation on Jackson Public School in Melbourne, Victoria.
Joan O’Connor-Cox, the school’s principal, explained that installing solar was a tactical decision for them, to both save on electricity bills and teach students the importance of sustainable living:
“Our decision to have solar installed was strategic. We had a sustainability topic driving the student learning at the end of 2017. Our energy bills were continually increasing with bills exceeding $40,000 annually and striving to offer authentic educational opportunities for our students meant we wanted to show our students how we could use renewable energy to be more sustainable.”
Educating the next generation on the importance of renewables and living a sustainable lifestyle is going to paramount to the future of the planet.
Therefore, the value solar will have upon schools goes way beyond just the economic benefits of solar. The following are reasons why we believe all schools should be making the switch:
We live in a very interactive age and schools are constantly looking for new ways to keep young minds interested and stimulated. Having a real-life example of the impacts solar can have, not only on an organisation’s running costs but the environment, is much more valuable than reading facts from a textbook. The significance of solar can be translated across a number of subjects such as technology, science, engineering and math.
Educating children about the effects of climate change offers a valuable opportunity to combat the issue. It gives young people the knowledge and skills past generations didn’t possess, to make informed decisions about how to adapt one’s lifestyle and bring about behavioural changes.
Raising Awareness for Students
The opinions children develop at school, regarding the current environmental crisis and the use of renewable energy is vital to ensuring the planet is preserved for future generations.
Installing solar will start the conversation of sustainable living, both in class and among students, and enforce the idea that renewable energy is an essential part of our future rather than an option.
Raising Awareness for Parents and the Community
Not only will installing solar raise awareness for the children at the school but also for the parents and the community. Many of people in the local community are likely to be home and business owners, who will be interested in the economic and environmental benefits of solar.
Building an understanding of renewable energies in the community will highlight the importance of making the switch to the people who have the ability and power to do so.
Reducing the School’s Environmental Impact
Schools have a significant impact on the environment; huge amounts of energy are required to light a large number of rooms, heat and cool the buildings and to power all the technology necessary to run a school.
Solar panels don’t release any emissions whilst they produce energy, therefore, the amount of carbon dioxide created by the school will be reduced dramatically. This will have a positive impact on our climate and demonstrate to students and the community that the school is dedicated to reducing their carbon footprint and operating sustainably.
As shown from the Jackson Public School case study, solar can have a significant impact on running costs, cutting their solar bill by over 50%. The average solar system has a payback of 4 years, providing the school with major economic benefits for years to come.
As is the case with many government-funded institutes, schools have tight budgets which need to be followed strictly. This often leads to corners being cut and students missing out on essential resources. With less money being spent on running the school, it means there is more money available to spend on educational tools — having direct impacts on the quality of education provided to children.