How To Use The Education Tax Credit To Put Green Technology On School Buildings.

Crowd funding a STEM related solar hot water project with the education tax credit…

If the Education Tax Credit bill passes, a $30,000 crowd funded donation towards a solar hot water system would be a key STEM project to consider.  This technology is well known to put a major dent in the fuel needs and the carbon emissions for any sized building.


Educational Benefits

Students would follow a rigorous, high tech STEM curriculum.

One study concluded that students at schools with systemic environmental education programs have higher test scores on state standardized tests over students at other comparable schools.  Participating in energy-efficiency programs at their schools and witnessing the results of their efforts helps students to both learn practical skills and become actively engaged in improving their learning environment. ”


The Andrew H. Wilson School in New Orleans, Louisiana, has an array of flat-plate solar panels on the roof that provide 90 percent of the hot water used in the school's kitchen. Credit: Joe Ryan, NREL 19648

The Andrew H. Wilson School in New Orleans, Louisiana, has an array of flat-plate solar panels on the roof that provide 90 percent of the hot water used in the school’s kitchen.
Credit: Joe Ryan, NREL 19648

Common school placements- Aside from heating needs, schools typically have kitchens and some have heated pools. Either of them require massive amounts of fossil fuel to heat water and many schools have selected these locations first.


Costs can be very low –

The most common collectors are flat panel and vacuum tube. The units cost $900-$1800 each and may be ordered online. Large volume discounts are very common with 20+ year life expectancies. With proper engineering instructions, local HVAC contractors can install with ease.


Schools can expect hot water energy expenses to be cut 50%-80%


According to the EPA guide for single family homes:

How much money you save depends on the following:



  • The amount of hot water you use
  • Your system’s performance
  • Your geographic location and solar resource
  • Available financing and incentives (Depending on the project and donation amount, there can be no cost if the Education Tax Credit Bill Passes – this sentence is not part of the EPA guide)
  • The cost of conventional fuels (natural gas, oil, and electricity)
  • The cost of the fuel you use for your backup water heating system, if you have one.

On average, if you install a solar water heater, your water heating bills should drop 50%–80%. Also, because the sun is free, you’re protected from future fuel shortages and price hikes.





Real World Examples Of School Installations.

Sunmaxx has two relevant projects for your review. This website has no affiliation to Sunmaxx.


Project #1

Westchester Community College Phys-Ed building – 66 collectors installed. Expected savings – $481,000 in 15 years.

This is a large building containing a heated pool. The calculated savings include any financing which may not be necessary with the Education Tax credit and crowd funding donations for your school.


Project #2

At a school cantina in Washington DC a 12 collector system was installed. Carbon emissions avoided – 33, 871 lbs as 140 mmbtu of propane was no longer needed.

Current propane prices in NY are $32 mmbtu for propane. In a similar NY cafeteria these numbers would result in $4,263 in annual savings.  Or $42,630 in savings over the next 10 years. Those saving may be directed towards arts, sports and music programs… plus an incredible hands-on STEM study opportunity for students could be realized.



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