Benefits to schools
The Co-op’s mission is to increase generation of renewable energy, to enable more schools to have solar panels and to support schools financially and in their sustainability and educational work. The Co-op sells electricity to schools at a material saving to the price they are currently paying.
The Co-op focuses on schools principally for the educational benefit – to demonstrate renewable energy to the school age generation and so it becomes an everyday part of their life. Schools receive an excellent educational resource with graphics and data feeds explaining the operation and performance of the solar panels. Many schools are keen to be more sustainable and the Co-op helps them do so and also delivers valuable financial savings. Schools also make a good long-term partner for the Co-op.
The Co-op’s entire profits after paying interest to its members and retaining reserves to develop the Co-op, are paid to its member schools, broadly in proportion to their contribution to that surplus. This is an unusual approach which is financially beneficial to schools and provides comfort to the schools that they are not being financially exploited. The schools themselves are members of the Co-op.
The Co-op’s work in London has been supported by grants from the Greater London Authority, acknowledging the value of the Co-op’s work.
In the last year the Co-op was honoured to receive awards for its work from Community Energy England, from the UK co-operative movement at the 150th Co-operatives Congress and from Suffolk County Council.