The Solar Schools Program brought to you by bhive environmental and supported by electricity retailer, Powershop, has launched in Cardinia Shire with the support of Cardinia Shire Council and is now open to schools throughout Victoria. It provides the opportunity to have a photovoltaic solar array installed at no cost to the school, owned outright by the school.

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What does my school need to do to access free solar panels?

Schools will need to encourage members of the community to switch their electricity account to Powershop. This could be a term long campaign to encourage parents, grandparents or school groups to make the switch. For each person that switches their electricity provider to Powershop, Powershop will make a financial contribution towards the cost of installing a solar panel system. When enough people have switched their provider, the school will own a renewable energy generating asset.

Who is bhive Environmental and how will they help us?

bhive Environmental is an environmental consulting business that has partnered with electricity retailer Powershop to help schools reduce their electricity costs and reduce the impact on our environment by contributing to the small scale renewable energy mix in Australia, which reduces our impact on climate change. bhive Environmental will be responsible for the facilitation and coordination of the program. bhive Environmental is working with and being remunerated by Powershop for managing this program.

Who is Powershop and why should we encourage our school community to switch their electricity to them?

Like bhive Environmental, Powershop is committed to positively contributing to the renewable energy mix in Australia and encouraging more renewable energy installations.

Households that enter into a no contract relationship with Powershop benefit from competitive rates that don’t dry up after 12 months, whilst also having carbon neutral electricity at no extra cost.Additonally, Powershop:

has been ranked Australia’s greenest power company for two years running (Greenpeace Green Electricity Guide 2014 & 2015);

is Australia’s first and only 100% certified carbon neutral electricity retailer;

is owned by Meridian Energy, Australasia’s largest 100% renewable energy generator;

has super competitive rates and offers great discounts on usage and supply charges; and

really cares for its customers! For the second year in a row Powershop has been awarded Canstar Blue’s Most Satisfied Customers Award – Electricity Providers VIC 2015 & 2016.


Signing your school up to the Solar Schools Program is easy,
just register your school’s interest by completing the form below. Your next steps are:

To help schools promote the program, bhive Environmental and Powershop will develop materials for you to share with your school community which will explain the program and encourage households to switch their electricity accounts to Powershop and support your school. Powershop will also provide a page on their website with more information.

Once the required number of households have switched their electricity to Powershop, funding will be provided and the installation can commence at your school.

What else do I need to know?

This program is currently open to all schools in the Cardinia Shire but any school can participate. System installation depends upon community involvement, and education of both the school and the wider community of the process and benefits of the program in order for it to be successful.

Each school will have the opportunity to choose a smaller or larger scale system based on the school’s electricity consumption, site suitability and capacity to introduce new customers to Powershop.

In the event that a schools installation switch target is not reached, the funds collected can go towards:

  • an energy efficiency or renewable energy program in the local community
  • a smaller solar installation
  • or contribute the funds to another nominated school; be it a sister or brother school for their program

The new program will be decided upon through consultation with the school, Powershop and bhive Environmental.

This program is open to all schools. System installation depends upon community involvement, and educating both the school and the wider community of the process and benefits of the program in order for it to be successful.


If you are interested in finding out more details about the Solar Schools Program and how your school can benefit from it, please complete the following ‘Expression of Interest’ indicating your school, your name and your contact details so we can contact you.

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