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Ethex helps UK schools to tackle climate change in the classroom with latest solar investment bond


Ethex, the leading social and environmental impact investment platform, has reissued its call for investors to help schools harness the power of the sun to produce low-cost electricity. After four previous successful raises – bringing in almost £1.5 million – Solar for Schools has returned to the Ethex platform as investors look to make the most of their money during ISA season.

The programme is hoping to raise £1 million of investment to install about 8,000 solar panels on 20-25 schools across the UK. This will prevent 10,000 tonnes of CO2 from entering the atmosphere and deliver energy literacy education to about 8,000 students.

The bond will also help each school save and earn between £30,000 and £250,000 depending on its size and location over the first 25-30 years of the system’s lifetime. The additional energy savings can be put to good use enabling more of the school’s budget to be spent on improving the education facilities at each school, rather than paying for mains electricity.

Investors can deposit a minimum of £1,000 into the initiative with an expected annual return of 5%. The offer ends on 30 June 2019. The product is eligible to be held within the Innovative Finance ISA.

Lisa Ashford, CEO, Ethex, says: “With just two weeks to go until the end of the financial year, we are encouraging investors to make the most of their £20,000 ISA allowance by putting their money into Solar for Schools. Not only will this programme enable even more schools to benefit from access to solar energy and inspire the next generation to live more sustainably, but it also aims to generate annual returns of 5%.”

Robert Schrimpff, Co-Founder and CEO Solar for Schools, says: “This project brings together schools, investors and installers to produce clean energy while dramatically reducing harmful carbon emissions. Moving to solar power enables schools to generate up to 50% of their electricity onsite and save up to 30% on their electricity bill.

“With the help of investors, we will be able to build projects that have been pre-accredited and so will still receive subsidies. Unfortunately, the government has stopped solar subsidies for new projects from 31 March. Without subsidies or donations, it is virtually impossible for most primaries in the UK to have solar at no cost for the next few years until mains electricity prices rise further, module costs continue to fall or we can raise funds at a lower interest rate.”

The Solar for School Community Benefit Society was established in 2016 to enable schools in England and Wales to benefit from solar panels without having to invest themselves, yet still share in the expected long-term profits generated by each solar project. To date, 22 schools have had solar panels installed as part of the initiative.

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