TAKE ACTION & EMAIL YOUR LEGISLATOR
Speak Up for Solar Access for Our Schools
We have the opportunity to make the financial, educational, and job-creating benefits of solar more accessible to Pennsylvania’s schools by passing legislation to create the Solar for Schools Grant Program (HB1032) in Pennsylvania.
The proposed legislation develops a Solar for Schools Grant Program to be distributed to eligible schools, including public school districts, intermediate units, career and technical schools, and community colleges, for the purchase and installation of a solar energy project.
Let’s support and empower schools to reduce their energy costs, provide hands-on learning and job training opportunities, and foster energy independence and resilience through a state-funded grant program for solar schools. Tell your legislators to support HB1032 using the form below.
Benefits of the Solar for Schools Grant Program
Cost Savings for Schools
School districts that go solar could save significantly on electricity costs, since energy costs are the second-highest operational expense schools face after staffing. Schools can balance their budgets without sacrificing key programs by simply trimming utility bills, yet only 2% of Pennsylvania K-12 schools are taking advantage of this common-sense budget solution. At a time with volatile global energy markets and rising electricity prices, installing solar provides stability to a school district’s budget and enables schools to invest more tax dollars into student learning and other critical needs.
Workforce Development and STEM Education for Students
Pennsylvania schools and community colleges can use onsite solar projects to provide students with hands-on job training for fast-growing careers and real-world, STEM education. Solar PV installer is projected to be one of the fastest-growing occupations this decade, and schools need to be preparing graduates to fill these high-paying jobs. A recent survey found that 84 percent of clean energy employers in Pennsylvania are already having a hard time filling open positions with trained workers. The Solar for Schools Grant Fund will enable schools to develop new clean energy projects that support student learning, build a pipeline of needed solar workers, and create local jobs.
Energy Independence and Resilience
Every school across the Commonwealth has access to abundant solar energy that can be harvested to generate electricity onsite and increase energy independence. The grant program helps fund solar energy projects that include battery storage to make school campuses resilient to power outages and able to serve as reliable emergency centers for the community.
Increased Affordability for Disadvantaged Schools
High-poverty communities are eligible to receive grants for a higher percentage of eligible project costs. This state grant can be combined with the new federal grants and funding opportunities made available through the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) and the Inflation Reduction Act in order to cover the costs of a solar project and ensure the benefits of solar energy are accessible to underserved, disadvantaged, and energy communities throughout the Commonwealth.