More and more homeowners over the past few decades have been realising the benefits of solar panels, in reducing energy costs and saving on carbon emissions. However, businesses are just as liable as homeowners to be affected by soaring energy costs, which can be a major drain on profitability. Solar panels represent an ideal solution, and are being used to an increasing extent for supplying power to commercial buildings.
Solar photovoltaic panels can actually be mounted on virtually any type of commercial premises, including hotels, restaurants, shops, factories, care homes and office blocks. A south-facing roof is ideal, as this helps to maximise the energy capture, but they can be mounted on any roof. They can even be installed on a flat roof, by using lighter-weight mounting structures which allow panels to be orientated and angled in the best direction.
If you as a business owner decide to install a photovoltaic system, it will enable your company to produce a substantial proportion of its own energy requirements, so reducing the amount you have to purchase from your supplier. A 50 kWp system is likely to generate about 770 kWh per year, and this could yield a ROI (return on investment) of about 12 per cent, over an 8-9 year payback period. In addition, it could save more than 20,000 tonnes of CO2.
A large part of this return on investment comes from the government’s Feed In Tariffs, whereby you can receive tax-free payments for every unit of electricity you produce. In addition, you can receive bonus payments for any power you are able to export to the National Grid, if you are producing more than you need. On top of this, your system could be eligible for a business tax break, thanks to the Carbon Trust ECA (Enhanced Capital Allowance) scheme. You also need to be aware that, depending on what kind of business you run, and how big it is, you may be subject to regulations concerning your level of carbon emissions and the extent to which you rely on fossil fuels — this could certainly help you comply.
There are all sorts of reasons why it makes sense to install a commercial solar panel system. Not only will it save you money, and even generate an income, but it could impress your customers and enhance your green credentials. To find out how your business could benefit from a solar panel project, contact a commercial electrician, who will assess your requirements and find the system that is most suitable for your particular needs.