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Business rate changes and solar panels in schools.

Business rate changes and solar panels in schools.

New research suggests schools in England and Wales which have solar panels installed will be landed with a £1.8m bill because of business rate changes that have been branded ludicrous and nonsensical.

More than 1,000 schools installed solar power in recent years to address climate change, educate pupils and provide a crucial new revenue stream to help squeezed budgets.

But figures from 74 education authorities that responded to freedom of information requests show 821 schools with solar will together have to pay an extra £800,000 a year in business rates from April because of taxation changes. Assuming similar installation rates across the 174 authorities in England and Wales, that climbs to a total of about £1.8m.

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