Solar Has Benefits for Schools According to New Research


Businesses of all different shapes and sizes have benefitted from switching to clean, renewable solar energy. However, a new study shows that one of the largest and yet most often-overlooked types of institution in the country could also be one that benefits the most from this switch. Schools everywhere spend a ton of money on their energy every year—over $14 billion, to be precise. However, despite this immense price tag on keeping the lights on so kids can learn, few schools have taken advantage of the benefits that solar can provide.

However, a new study shows just how much schools and even our communities as a whole could benefit from their switching over to solar. A research survey from Stanford’s School of Earth, Energy & Environmental Studies studied more than 130,000 K-12 school institutions as well as nearly 7,100 colleges and universities across the country to determine the size of their roof and how much solar energy could be generated from a panel system on that real estate that remains largely unused. The number was compared to the electrical demand of each institution in order to come up with the final statistics, and the numbers are staggering.

If every surveyed school across the country were to install a solar panel system on all viable spaces of their roof, the solar panels alone could meet up to 75 percent of all of their electrical needs through the entire year, in addition to reducing their carbon footprint by as much as 28 percent! That’s a savings of over $10 billion over the course of each year! Some of the institutions in sunnier states could even completely power themselves independently throughout the year with solar technology.

However, even those schools in less solar-efficient states would benefit from solar as well. Even a small reduction in these energy costs could be significant savings for schools, who need to pay for the electricity anyway the research team argues. “This is a way, in some cases, that they can reduce their costs. If there’s a rebate or subsidy, it can happen more quickly,” said Gabrielle Wong-Parodi, an assistant professor of Earth system science at Stanford, and one of the contributing authors to the study.

The study also argues that schools shouldn’t pay for and install solar panel systems themselves, but instead work with a trusted and established local installer who can take care of the maintenance and operation for them for best results. In this way, power purchase agreements are ripe with opportunity—schools can get solar panels on their roof for no money out of pocket and still save a bundle on their energy costs by entering into one of these long-term agreements. They may even be eligible for various solar tax credits in New Jersey or New York.

State and local governments have even more of an opportunity to make switching to solar even more viable for schools as well. New York and New Jersey are privileged to enjoy aggressive renewable energy portfolios and lofty goals when it comes to solar installation, which means there is a lot of opportunity for schools to make the switch to solar at an even lower out of pocket cost.

At SunPower by Sea Bright Solar, we’ve helped institutions of all different shapes, sizes, and industries make the investment in their future and the environment by switching over to clean, renewable solar energy. As experienced solar installers, we build customized solar energy systems which are perfectly designed to meet your needs and work with the space you have available. Whether you’re looking to switch your home or business over to solar, our experts can help you configure the perfect solar energy system that helps you best prepare for the future.

­To learn more about making the switch to solar, contact SunPower by Sea Bright Solar by dialing (732) 253-4052 today.

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