There are many reasons companies and businesses are installing solar panels. let’s have a look at some of these and show you an example.
Most companies install solar panels because of the return on investment, and not just its GREEN credentials. Solar has been growing in the UK since the start of the Feed-in-Tariff that the government introduced to the UK back in April 2010. Germany had been running the scheme from the year 2000, all was looking well.
The Feed-in Tariff that gave you money for solar panel electricity generation is no longer around, it stopped back in 2019. People ask, “why solar panels for business without a tariff?” There is one simple answer to this, ‘THE PRICE’. The Feed-in Tariff created a market for solar panels in the UK, as this went on over the years, the tariff price came down. This forced the prices of solar panel equipment to come down along with the tariff. By 2019 the price of solar panels and equipment had come down around 70%, and now to this day, the figure is more like 75%. This is now a new age, with just the energy savings alone making the payback of solar panels very attractive.
What does this mean to the return on investment?
The tariff for solar was very low in the end, at the start was an impressive 43p per kWh of energy production. The return over the years has stayed around the same, the prices and paybacks have kept in-line over the years, with a few ups and downs. In fact, the paybacks now are the best we have ever seen. Let us have a look at the payback on a 50kW system for an SME business.
Click payback chart to enlarge.
You can see the price of the system at the top left, that does not include VAT. Business clients will claim the VAT back. This system is based on a metal roof that is south facing. All types and roof orientations can be used. If you get a quote, Business Supermarket will base your figures on the type and orientation of your system with its relevant pricing.
The system figures attached are based on a customer’s actual PV installation. You can see the system pays itself back under five years and brings great savings after (see green and red column, it turns green when payback is reached). The annual maintenance and inverter replacement are only set at £50 a year as this quotation included a 25-year inverter cover (Look more at inverters shortly). You will notice the FIT (Feed-in-Tariff) and Export Revenues are set to £0.00p, this is correct now it is finished.
You can see from this payback chart above that the system over twenty years will bring savings of £131,971.00, and that is after payback of the system. The panels are guaranteed for 25-years, but there is no reason they will not run for 30 plus. At the 25-year period that the panels are guaranteed for, the savings after payback are £194,603.00. As you can see, these are not figures to be sniffed at. Being in the industry so long and monitoring these systems, I can safely say that solar panel systems reach their targets and quite frequently surpass them. The SAP calculation (Standard Assessment Procedure) that we work these figures is a government calculation. These calculations have to be done correctly as part of our MCS (Microgeneration Certification Scheme) registration. Giving customers security in our calculations and figures.
What happens to solar power I don’t use? Well if you don’t have batteries this will get fed back to the grid. It is best to fit a system that YOU will get the maximum benefit from. You can add batteries into the mix further extending the functionality of the PV system. This is something that has to be looked into, a balance of PV usage, PV export and onsite demand needs to be weighed up.
Let’s get off the Grid
Reducing your reliance on the grid is always a good idea. With solar, this is where your return on investment comes from. For every kWh (kilowatt-hour) you make with solar PV, that is another kWh you don’t need to take from the grid that will cost you money. The savings can be absolutely huge, and the bigger the system the bigger the savings. The payback as you can see is fantastic, commercial solar has one of the fastest paybacks of any renewable technology on the market today.
Power of Panels
While prices have been changing, panels have been getting more powerful. However, when I started in the solar industry ten years ago the average panel was 210W of power. Now we are using panels for commercial properties of up to 410W. Don’t get me wrong, these 410W panels are larger but they hold much more power per square meter. We are getting the same peak power systems in a smaller space than we did years ago (reduced installation cost). The BNFE also stated this recently saying that solar and wind are the cheapest new sources of energy.
In addition, the guarantees for solar panels are very good and backup the investment by giving you confidence in their longevity. Most panels in the market place have a 25-year guarantee. This guarantee covers the efficiency of the panels over the 25 year period, the panels also have a 10-year product guarantee too. The makeup of a solar panel and how they work is very simple, they bring year after year of good renewable energy.
That’s another great thing about solar PV (photovoltaic), its a fit and forget solution. It can run years without even anyone touching the system. The low-maintenance is another reason people find it very appealing. The inverter that runs the system turns itself on every morning and turns itself off every night. Most inverters are set-up to send you information. This is via web-page or mobile app, you can see its production live and what it has produced historically. The inverter can even send out an email if it sees a problem with the system.
One thing I will finish off with on this part is reliability. In my ten years in the industry and overseeing hundreds of installations, I can safely say that solar is a superb and reliable technology. Therefore, you rarely get problems with the systems. When you do its usually an inverter issue and most can be resolved easily. The solar inverter converts the DC electricity the panels make to AC electricity to use on your premises. If this inverter ever breaks down the whole system shuts down. At Business Supermarket we can offer an inverter with a 25-year warranty. This makes sure your investment is safe and payback predictions are correct.
Why Solar Panels for Business?
In conclusion, not only does solar PV look fantastic on your property, but it is a great investment that adds value. In addition, it will make your business green and raise your company profile. Solar is a great advertisement for your business as a future-proofed forward-thinking company.