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Commercial Solar Panels

Using solar panels to generate your own electricity can help your business save money while also doing its bit for the environment. But fitting solar panels can be expensive and it can take time to make your money back. Here's all you need to know about solar panels for business.

3 min read

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Would your business benefit from commercial solar panels?

Investing in UK commercial solar panels is an incredible way to lower your business energy costs. Solar panels for business deliver electricity at an average of 5p per day. Considering the average cost of electricity is between 11-15p per day, it’s clear that savings are to be made.

It will come as no surprise that electricity bills are set to rise. Current estimates have suggested the average energy bill will double over the next ten years. This makes investing in commercial solar PV a worthy consideration, as you will be exempt from these price increases by creating your own electricity.

What’s more, businesses that generate their own commercial solar energy can sell the energy they don’t use back to the national grid. To be eligible to sell back to your provider, you’ll need to have negotiated a Feed-in Tariff. Put simply, a Feed-in Tariff is a government subsidy for businesses that produce excess renewable energy, allowing them to earn what they give back.

Unfortunately, the FIT scheme closed for new applications on March 31, 2019, but you may still be eligible for payments. For more information, check out our Business Energy Feed-in Tariffs page.

Investing in commercial solar energy is not all about cost. By choosing solar panels for your business premises, you will reduce your environmental footprint and promote sustainability, all the while attracting customers with environmental concerns.

What is the average commercial solar panel cost?

Commercial solar panel costs average in between £3,000 and £10,000. That’s because there are two types of systems you can choose. The cheapest, between £3,000 and £5,000 is solar thermal energy, whereas small-scale photovoltaic (PV) systems cost up to £10,000.

  • Solar thermal energy – These use sunlight to heat water stored in your hot water tank. They are attached to the side of your building and produce steam to generate electricity.
  • Solar PV panels – These are the panels you’ll have seen on roofs and the sides of buildings. They convert sunlight into electricity by creating an electric field between the cells which make up the panel.

The more you pay, the more efficiently your commercial solar PV system will generate electricity. So, it’s often worth spending a little more, especially if you plan on using a Feed-in Tariff to sell energy back to the national grid.

The initial cost may seem a little expensive on first sight, however the long-term savings are more than worth it – especially if you own your business premises or have a long-lease. With Solar thermal energy systems, it’ll take five years to earn back what you have spent. For small scale PV systems, you can expect to have earned back your outlay between five and 10 years.

By investing in commercial solar energy panels, you can avoid any future increases in the cost for electricity. Like anything in business, long-term projects are always the most fruitful. Sure, you’ll pay out at first, but the long-term returns can make it more than worthwhile.

Are any grants available for investing in commercial solar panels?

There are plenty of government initiatives, alongside Feed-in Tariffs, which can help you invest. These include:

  • The Green Deal – This enables you to pay for installation costs of energy-saving technologies via savings on your energy bills.
  • Enhanced Capital Allowances – This allows you to offset the cost of your equipment against your taxable profit.
  • Lease Purchase Agreements – You will rent your renewable energy equipment and pay for it using income earned from subsidies. Once the cost is paid, you own the system.
  • Other funding options include business loans, power purchase agreements, client funding and more.

Of course, there’s a lot to consider when investing in commercial solar energy. That’s why we recommend speaking to energy experts at USwitchForBusiness. We can advise you on the best solar panel companies, what to expect for your solar panel installation business cost, and what subsidies are available.

Are any other renewable energy options available?

Are any other renewable energy options available?There are many options for business renewable energy. Most enable you to access similar government subsidies and tax breaks to commercial solar panel.

  • Wind Power – If you have enough building-free space, you can generate electricity through a wind turbine.
  • Biomass Systems– These systems burn organic materials like straw or wood pellets to generate electricity and heat.
  • Anaerobic Digestion – Organic materials like plant and animal waste contain methane. Anaerobic digestion separates the methane, allowing it to be burned and turned to heat and electricity.
  • Geothermal and Ground Source Heat Pumps – Taking heat naturally contained in the ground, these pumps are attached to the side of your building and provide both heating and cooling.
  • Combined Heat and Power – A CHP system captures the heat produced by electricity heating your water, allowing it to be used elsewhere.
  • Hydroelectric Power – This type of renewable energy uses the flow of water to generate movement and therefore electricity. They’re only available for sites with a water source and enough land for the technology.

Talk to uSwitchforBusiness today on 0800 188 4930 to hear how we can help you find the best deal for your business. We’ll run a business electricity plan comparison and take care of all the details involved in switching.

Would your business benefit from commercial solar panels?
What is the average commercial solar panel cost?
Are any grants available for investing in commercial solar panels?
Are any other renewable energy options available?

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