Transition year students at Mercy Secondary School in Newtownsmith are promoting the benefits of renewable energy, in particular creating awareness about solar panels, as part of the One Good Idea Project competition which is being held in conjunction with Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland.
With the help of their geography teachers, Ms Cliona Dunning and Ms Fiona Dempsey, the students entered the competition producing the Switch Onto Solar project. As part of the project the students researched the operation and benefits of solar energy to Irish households. Different types of renewable energy were researched with the result that solar energy was found to be the most sustainable. It was discovered that solar energy can help shave 60 to 70 per cent off a household electricty bill and 25 per cent off the heating bill a year. The students also found that a solar panal is needed for each person in the house and that for the average family of five it cost around €6,500 to install, however, there are grants available from the Government.
The students have now set up the Switch Onto Solar Facebook page where all the information about the project and solar energy is outlined.