Commercial Solar Panels
Investing in solar energy for your business comes with considerable benefits. Whether your business is a large industrial site or a small local company, considering solar energy is not only a greener solution to powering your business but a cost-effective one, too.
With the rising costs of energy, solar panels can help reduce your spending on running your business by generating free, renewable electricity during the daylight, saving your business a significant amount of money a year.
No longer considered a niche solution to energy production, solar panels have become a mainstay for businesses throughout the UK and the world becoming one of the fastest-growing renewable energy sources, making up for 60% of the increase in global renewable capacity in 2022.
Financial benefits of solar panel
As well as the obvious environmental benefits of solar energy, investing in commercial solar panels has significant financial benefits too. The average cost of solar PV energy is around 5p per kWh which is considerably lower than 11p-15p currently paid by business owners throughout the UK. This could potentially reduce your electricity bill by a third almost instantly.
What is the cost of commercial solar panels?
The cost of commercial solar panels varies from installation to installation. There are multiple aspects of a solar PV installation that can influence the final price. For example, the amount of energy produced, the number of solar panels needed, and roof size. However, for a small to medium-sized business, the cost ranges from £16,000 to £70,000.
Getting a rough estimation of how much your commercial solar PV installation will cost can be worked out by looking at your utility bill. Your current energy providers should provide a breakdown of your usage and charges per kW. A good guide to getting an estimate for your installation is around £1000 per kW + VAT.
The average commercial electricity usage for UK businesses is as follows:
- Microbusiness – 5,000 kWh – 15,000 kWh
- Small Business – 15,000 kWh – 25,000 kWh
- Medium-sized Business – 25,000 kWh – 50,000 kWh
- Large business – upwards of 50,000 kWh
It is worth noting that energy usage varies from industry to industry and it is always beneficial to check your utility bills for a more accurate usage figure..
Commercial solar PV installation costs are generally worked out by £0.2p per watt fitted. For example, a medium-sized business using a 30kW system would be looking at around £6,000 + VAT for the installation. For larger-scale installations, costs may rise as the number of workers to fit the panels may increase.
Planning permission may be required when installing your commercial solar panels. If you are planning on installing solar panels on a listed building or world heritage site, you will be required to apply for planning permission.
In many cases, the contracting company undertaking the installation will organise any planning permissions prior to starting the work, so check with your contractors and see if they can help get the paperwork sorted.
When getting solar panels on your commercial property, there are conditions that need to be met in order to be permitted development rights. These limits and conditions include:
When mounting the solar panels on a roof, the panels must be further than 1 metre away from the edge of the roof or wall joint.
A roof-mounted solar PV installation must not stick out more than 200mm. With flat roof installations, the solar PV must be less than 1 metre above the highest point of the roof.
Solar panels must be installed in a place where they have minimal effect on the external appearance of the commercial property.
Installation equipment must be removed as soon as possible. This includes scaffolding on the exterior of the property.
Benefits to commercial solar PV
Having your business powered by solar energy has many benefits, both financially and for the environment. Here are 4 key advantages:
A huge perk of having solar panels on your commercial property is the minimal maintenance needed. It is recommended that a professional examines your solar panels every four to six years.
During the time between, your solar panels will require light cleaning to remove excess dirt. By removing excess dirt, you’ll help maintain maximum efficiency.
The rising costs of energy in the UK should be on every business owner’s mind. By generating your own electricity through solar PV, your business could save thousands over the lifespan of your solar panels.
Potential additional income
Not only will your energy bill be reduced but any surplus energy produced can be sold back to the grid.
Although the everchanging exporting rates, the SEG allows business owners to sell excess energy back to the grid generating additional income for the business.
Reducing carbon footprint
If your business is concerned about its carbon footprint, installing solar panels will help reduce your carbon footprint as you will be powered by renewable energy, improving your business reputation and sustainability.