WHILE most of us were sweltering in one of the hottest months ever seen in the UK, these primary pupils have been feeling very cool indeed.

That is because it was so sunny last month that the solar panels on their school roof helped generate a record-breaking amount of electricity.

The photovoltaic panels at Botley School were installed by Oxford’s Low Carbon Hub group, which has a total of 37 arrays like it at schools and offices across Oxfordshire.

In some recent summers, the panels might have struggled to hit their generation targets, but with a whopping 253 hours of sunlight in southern England in June, the hub’s installations churned out half a million kilowatt hours of electricity.

That is enough energy to power more than 100 average primary schools, or about half the primaries in Oxfordshire.

As well as cutting out thousands of tonnes of CO2 that would have been pumped into the atmosphere from a fossil fuel power supply, the panels have also saved thousands of pounds for the schools, which get discounted electricity in the deal.

Low Carbon Hub CEO Barbara Hammond said she and her colleagues were 'absolutely thrilled' about the amount of green electricity their panels had produced.

She added: "This is also great news for the schools who save on their energy bills and helps curb Oxfordshire’s carbon emissions even further."

What's more, the record-breaking month could not have come at a better time: the hub is currently trying to raise £1 million by the end of July to install its next round of school rooftop solar panels.

As with all of the hub's existing arrays, the new installations will be funded entirely be community investors, using their saving to back a low-carbon future.

Individual shares in the hub's latest 'community energy fund' start at £250, and when the panels start generating electricity and it is sold to the National Grid, investors will get annual dividends up to five per cent, as well as getting their original investment back at the end of the panels' life.

The latest share offer has already raised quarter of a million pounds, but with the offer closing at the end of July, the team are hoping their record-breaking month will attract even more investment.

The hub’s solar schools project manager James Ochiltree said: “I’m really looking forward to welcoming new schools to the Low Carbon Hub Solar School programme.

“If anyone wants to talk through the feasibility of having solar panels installed on their roof, then please do get in touch.”

Find out more about the hub's work and how to invest a low-carbon future for Oxfordshire online at lowcarbonhub.org