SunGift helps Devon schools generate clean energy and locals earn 6% interest per year

Innovative scheme allows anyone to make money from solar panels

Exeter’s SunGift Energy has helped make it possible for a Devon community group to not only generate cleaner cheaper electricity for local schools, but also generate a 6% return for locals that want to invest in the scheme.

Over the past few weeks SunGift has been installing solar PV systems on schools for Plymouth Energy Community (PEC), which has launched a ‘solar-power community-share scheme’. The community share offer allows local people to invest in shares, and the money generated is used to install solar power panels on roofs of local schools and other buildings across the city.

The schools benefit from reduced energy bills, a reduction in their carbon footprint and educational benefits for the pupils, while investors benefit from a better return than they would achieve if they have their money in a bank.

“Community energy schemes like this are becoming more and more popular,” said SunGift’s Gareth Walton, “as there are clear benefits for everyone involved. The solar panels deliver lower electricity bills and reduced CO2 emissions for the schools, while the income from the Feed-in Tariff is good enough to allow the panels to be installed for free on the schools while the investors can still make their return.”

BBC Spotlight recently ran a feature on the Plymouth Energy Community scheme, including SunGift installers, which can be viewed at

SunGift has already installed more than 300 kW of solar panels on schools, including systems on the Exeter School and St Peter’s Primary School in Budleigh Salterton, as well the schools in Plymouth for Plymouth Energy Community.

Schools or community organisations that have their own roof space and are interested in getting solar PV installed can contact SunGift Energy for more information on 01392 213912 or visit