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Schools Energy Co-op

Social performance

Schools’ Energy Co-op is an award winning, successful, ethical, community-based, profitable social enterprise which installs solar panels on schools. It launched in August 2014 and has already generated more than 4.5GWh of renewable electricity.

Key Social Performance Indicators (KSPIs)

KSPIs are a measure of how the business is performing on delivering its main social or environmental purpose. Read more

KSPI 1 - Generate renewable energy


The Co-op enables investors and schools to make a real contribution to the development of renewable energy and to the UK’s response to climate change and energy security. Since launch in 2014 it has already generated more than 4.5GWh of renewable electricity.

In the Co-op’s financial year to 31st March 2019 it generated 1,450MWh of electricity, reducing emissions by about 710 tonnes of carbon dioxide (by offsetting gas fuelled generation). This year's generation and carbon savings will be materially higher as the Co-op benefits from a full year of generation from the installations made last year.

KSPI 2 - Support schools financially and in their educational and environmental work

Map of Schools' Energy Co-op solar installations


The Co-op has installed solar panels on over 60 schools across England, and, with a healthy pipeline of projects the number of installs is constantly rising.

The schools will buy any electricity generated by the panels that they use at a price which gives them a material, immediate financial saving. They also receive an excellent educational resource with graphics and data feeds explaining the operation and performance of the panels. The Co-op’s entire profits after paying interest to members, any taxation due, and retaining reserves to develop the Co-op are intended to be paid to its member schools.

KSPI 3 - Contribute to sustainable development in our communities.

Much of the Co-op’s work is delivered in partnership with local community energy organisations, which represent the Co-op locally and engage with schools in their area. This approach has been particularly successful in Ealing where the Co-op’s partnership with Ealing Transition has delivered solar panel installations on 11 schools, with more in the pipeline, and has led to the promotion of the Co-op’s share offers in Ealing.

The Co-op’s most recent partnership is with Salisbury Community Energy through which the Co-op should deliver solar panel installations on 7 sites in and near Salisbury funded under the November 2019 share offer. The Co-op will work with them to promote this share offer in Salisbury and to promote solar panels to further sites in Wiltshire.


Case Study - Schools' Energy Co-op's 50th installation

Perivale Primary School was the 10th school in Ealing to become part of the Co-op, as a result of the Co-op’s successful partnership with Ealing Transition and Ealing Council and with support from the Greater London Authority.  More Ealing sites will soon be installed with solar panels under the latest share offer.

Audrey Daley, headteacher at Perivale Primary School said: “When we were told about the opportunity to install solar panels and generate our own clean, green energy it made perfect sense for us to get involved; it fits perfectly with the ethos of our school. We’re able to show the children how we’re making a difference and reducing our carbon footprint. The whole project has helped us think more carefully about how we use energy, and now we’re taking steps to become even more energy efficient, switching much of our lighting to LEDs. It’s great for the whole school community to be able to see how green technology works first-hand, and encourages the children to think about how to live their lives more sustainably in the future.”

Over the next twenty years, the solar panels at Perivale Primary School should:

  • Provide about one quarter of the electricity used by the school
  • Save the school over £40,000 (This assumes that electricity prices rise annually by 1% more than the rate of inflation)
  • Cut carbon dioxide emissions by 225 tonnes (compared to generating electricity from natural gas)

After 20 years the solar panels will be given to the school, continuing to make savings for years to come.

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