British Gas offers free solar panels to schoolsUp to 750 schools will get a free solar panel

01 June 2010

Energy giant British Gas is offering British schools the chance to save up to 20% on their energy bills, by installing free solar panels.

British Gas will donate and install solar panels on up to 750 schools across the country. The solar panels are worth between £20,000 and £40,000 per school and each school will be able to generate its own free, green electricity, saving up to 20% on their annual energy bill.

Plus, surplus energy will be sold to the national grid through the government’s Clean Energy Cashback scheme. British Gas estimates that this will raise £1.3m a year for the next 25 years, and says this will be re-invested in installing solar panels on more schools.

For more information on green technology, read our advice on how to buy solar panels, how to install a wind turbine and how to create a more energy-efficient home. You can also read our reviews of a range of energy-saving appliances as well as energy saving light bulbs and home electricity monitors.

Installing solar panels at home

For those interested in installing solar panels at home, Which? Local's Pete Tynan offers the following advice: ‘Our recent investigation into the selling of solar thermal panels that heat water revealed a number of examples of poor practice and dodgy sales tactics.

‘We don't know if the same problems exist for other types of solar panels, but if you're thinking of installing solar panels yourself then make sure you get at least three quotes from installers accredited to the Microgeneration Certification Scheme.

‘We've got over 30 reputable installers recommended by Which? Members on Which? Local.’

Apply for free solar panels

British Gas has already earmarked half of the £15m it plans to invest in this solar panel scheme, to ensure that schools in low income areas benefit form the initiative.

However, all schools in the UK can apply for the scheme and can register for an application form at

To show pupils the difference that the solar panels are making, British Gas will also install a smart meter in each school and provide ‘Generation Green’ lesson plans.

Lower your gas and electricity bills

You can compare energy prices and switch to a new gas and electricity supplier on Which? Switch. People who switched with us between 1 October and 31 December 2013 are predicted to save an average of £234 a year on their bills.

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