Liberal Democrats have called on the government to scrap its plan to hit some state schools that have solar panels with a tax hike.
Cllr Liz Green, Lib Dem Education spokesperson at the Local Government Association, said: "The plan from the government is crazy and they should abandon this proposal. Those schools who have solar panels make good use of them to educate children over renewable energy".
The government proposal is to scrap an exemption for smaller scale solar panel installations (less than 50 kilowatts) and charge business rates on them from April 2017. The charity 10:10 has calculated this will cost schools more than £820 a year for the average 10kW installation and, combined with recent cuts to Feed in Tarriffs, make them uneconomic. It has been revealed that private schools will not be affected due to their charitable status.
Cllr Keith House, LGA Lib Dem Environment Spokesperson added "This is a real slap in the face for schools - and local communities and councils - who have done the right thing and installed solar power. At a time when we should be doing more to encourage support for clean, renewable energy it is gob-smacking that the government even consider this".