Business owners are making the best use of the roofs on their industrial units by installing solar panels and are saving more than 65% on their energy bills. 1 in 10 small businesses are generating their own electricity on site and running on clean green energy. For the first time in July-September 2016 half of Britain’s electricity was generated from low carbon sources and history was made on Saturday 25th March 2017 when solar panels set a new generation record. For the first time in UK energy history we’ve seen homes and businesses demand less electricity during daytime than they did during the night. This meant that gas and coal generators were forced to reduce their output to accommodate nearly 8GW of solar generation that occurred during the Saturday peak.
What’s more, the days which following this record breaking day (25th March – 27th March) solar PV capacities produced six times more electricity than the nation’s traditional coal-fired power stations. News like this is becoming more and more regular, which shows the shift from fossil fuels to clean renewables is really starting to pick up pace. With more and more businesses installing solar on their roofs we explore the huge benefits offered by solar PV.
- Business owners like predictability, especially when it comes to purchasing inputs. With solar you can forward buy a significant chunk of your next 25 years’ worth of input, at a fixed price of around a third of what you currently pay. It won’t go up, you have no storage costs, and if you ever decide you don’t need any of it, you get your money back (export to the grid) plus you get a subsidy on top. How many businesses would like to buy all their inputs like this?
- The average price per unit of energy paid by UK businesses has increased by 30% since 2012 and its set to increase again by another 5-10% this month (April 2017). In contrast solar panel costs have fallen by 35% which means that those businesses installing solar PV are in effect forward buying their electricity at 4.1p per unit. This compares with the current grid supplied rate of an average 13p per unit. This means with electricity prices rising and the reduction in installation costs, the achievable ROI in 2017 still surpasses 15%. This is despite the FiT cuts back in early 2016.
- Businesses are moving their company cars and fleet vehicles to electric power. Obviously these cars require electricity to drive them which will push the demand for electricity up and therefore increase prices further. Smart forward thinking companies are investing in solar PV and using the energy generated on site to charge their electric vehicles and offering employees facilities to charge their cars straight from where the energy is produced and then drive away on completely clean power.
- Solar PV hugely enhances any business’ green credentials. Many customers are asking their suppliers to prove they are actively reducing their carbon footprint. A 30 kW (115 panels) solar PV system will help your business reduce its CO2 emissions by a massive 16 tonnes per annum. You can also promote your environmental saving contributions in your marketing literature.
- Solar power is a cheap, low maintenance and reliable supply of energy which is protected against price rises and an alternative to grid supplied electricity. Average payback length is 6-8 years and a solar investment can be cash flow positive in as little as 2 years. With low interest rates and the additional tax benefits, solar is therefore viewed as a low risk investment.
- Solar panels on a business premises may also add value to the property asset. Future tenants or buyers will see value in having electricity generated at site and this will add to the desirability of the premises.
- The sun is always going to be shining… As we’ve already seen, solar PV is generating more and more energy. Solar panels are now more efficient at converting light to energy and even on overcast days and during the winter the solar panels still convert light to energy.
- A well-designed solar PV system can help a business become energy independent. This means you can reduce your reliance on the national grid, which is already taking measures to prevent blackouts. Solar offers energy security at a fixed rate.
We’d like to thank www.mypoweruk.com for this article.