The long summer holidays are over and a new school year has begun – and not just for pupils and teachers. School governors and business managers around the country are meeting to review budgets, and a sizeable chunk of the annual spend will be going on electricity bills. Households, businesses and the public sector have long felt the pinch thanks to the “big six” energy firms. Even with a government hell-bent on fracking, our bills are unlikely to fall. But it doesn’t have to be this way. By investing in solar power on their large estates, schools can save money: 50kW solar panels will make around £8,000 per year through payments from energy suppliers, exporting power to the grid and savings on in-house electricity bills. Multiply this by the 30,000 schools across the UK and we’re looking at a total annual income of £240m. Just think what schools could do with that extra cash: libraries, playgrounds, field trips – or the salaries of more than 6,000 teachers.