Under the fresh initiative the company will donate and install solar panels – worth between £20,000 and £40,000 per school – in up to 750 schools.
Each school will be able to generate its own free, green electricity, cutting as much as 20 per cent off its annual electricity bill.
The energy produced by the panels is anticipated to create around £1.3m per year for the next 25 year as a result of the new feed-in tariff arrangements.
British Gas plans to invest this revenue stream in installing solar panels on yet more schools via its Energy For Tomorrow Trust, a ‘not for profit’ trust fund established to invest in low carbon projects in the UK.
This could mean that, in the next five years alone, British Gas could install free solar panels on a total of 1,100 schools.
Schools receiving solar panels will also receive a British Gas smart meter, offering real time information so pupils can see the difference their solar panels are making.
British Gas has already earmarked half of the total investment to ensure that schools in low income areas benefit from the initiative, and intends to deliver the technology to these schools in conjunction with the Government’s Community Energy Saving Programme (CESP).
Phil Bentley, managing director, British Gas, said: “This is the biggest investment of its kind in solar technology for our nation’s schools, which will help them cut both their carbon emissions and their electricity bills – as well as learn about renewable energy in a hands-on way.
“The electricity generated by these schools will help pay for the scheme to be extended to even more schools throughout the country, which is great news for school leaders, parents and pupils who are all looking for ways to save money during these tough economic times.”