Benefits: Why Schools Are Going Solar

The number of schools installing solar nearly doubled over the past five years, and for good reason. Flipping the switch to solar can cut a school’s energy costs, reduce power outages, and expand STEM and vocational learning opportunities.

Energy Cost Savings

At $8 billion a year, energy is the second largest expense for U.S. schools. By switching to solar, schools can reduce and stabilize energy costs and reinvest the savings into other school priorities.

Electrifying Learning

Located on-site, a solar installation offers hands-on, real-world learning opportunities valuable in the study of science, technology, engineering and math.

Job Training

By installing solar, schools support local employment and create vocational training opportunities. Solar installer is one of the country’s fastest growing occupations. During the last five years, solar employment increased 44%, five times faster than job growth in the overall U.S. economy.

Energy Resilience

Solar with battery storage and microgrids provide backup power during grid outages, preventing classroom disruptions. Schools with these technologies easily convert into emergency community shelters during natural disasters.

Students Leading the Charge

Students are speaking up and taking action, urging their schools to lead the transition to clean energy and make meaningful climate commitments. And when they do, schools inspire the community, encouraging staff, students and their families to make clean energy choices at home.

Healthy People and Planet

Switching to solar reduces fossil fuel pollution and protects the health of people and the planet. If all the K-12 schools in the U.S. were completely powered by the sun, it would eliminate carbon dioxide pollution equivalent to shutting down 16 coal-fired power plants. Cleaner air would reduce the 13 million school absences in the U.S. per year caused by childhood asthma.

Last Updated: 5/23/2023

Want more about where this came from, including case studies and examples of the benefits of going solar? Check out our 2022 Brighter Future Report.

Generation180 has toolkits, guides, reports, and more to help your school go solar. Visit for even more resources.