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Commercial solar panels have become increasingly popular over the years with many businesses across the UK opting for solar energy to power their properties.
With the benefits that solar power brings, which include lower energy bills, reduced carbon emissions, and a positive public image, it’s no surprise that solar energy is fast taking over the traditional method of generating electricity using fossil fuels.
Read on to find out more about commercial solar panels and whether it is worth it to install commercial solar panels in terms of their cost, output, savings, and return length:
Solar panels, also called photovoltaic (PV) panels, are made up of several cells made from a semiconductor material such as silicon. When sunlight shines on these panels, electricity is created which can be used to power your business.
Several types of businesses can reap the benefits of solar panels and they are becoming a common sight at commercial and industrial properties such as office buildings, schools, medical facilities, retail businesses, manufacturers, warehouses, and government organisations.
Both commercial and residential solar panels are made using the same material and work in the same way, but commercial solar panels are typically bigger than residential solar panels and are made specifically to fulfil the energy needs of businesses. This requires more space for installation making them a popular choice for large-scale solar installations for both commercial as well as industrial properties.
Due to their large size, commercial solar panels are also typically capable of generating more power than the ones used in homes. That, of course, also means that they are more expensive and require more complex installation than residential systems.
Due to their smaller size, residential solar panel systems are most commonly installed on rooftops. Commercial systems, on the other hand, can be installed in a variety of locations including:
Regardless of where you choose to install your solar panels, make sure they receive ample sunlight throughout the day and there are no obstructions.
The best position to maximise the energy collected by solar panels in the UK is facing south and tilted at a 35-degree angle from the horizontal. To make sure your solar panels are installed in the best and most efficient way possible in order to harness the maximum energy of the sun, it is best to work with a reputable commercial solar company like Calder Electrical.
There are several benefits of using commercial solar panels to power your business. Here are the top 3 advantages of solar panel installation for commercial properties:
Although solar panel installation can be a bit costly, the energy generated from commercial solar panel systems costs only a fraction of what you pay to your utility company. They are a great investment for your commercial property as they will allow you to save money on your electricity bill.
The amount of money you save will depend on the amount of solar energy generated by the system. If you have excess electricity, you may even sell it back to your electric company for money. In addition to that, the cost of solar panel maintenance is also relatively low, so you can save a few pounds there as well.
One of the biggest benefits of solar energy is the efficient energy production that is great for the environment. It is a great way to reduce your carbon footprint, which is something we all need to do ASAP to fight climate change.
Compared to the traditional method of generating electricity by burning fossil fuels, solar panels are a more responsible approach to electricity generation and it shows that your business cares about the environment, so that’s an added plus!
More and more commercial properties are investing in solar panels due to their great benefits, one of which is increased property value over time. The idea of buying a property with solar panels already installed is a lucrative one for prospective buyers and ups your commercial property in the market.
Not only do solar panels lower electric bills but also help reduce impact on the environment, making commercial buildings with solar panels all the more attractive.
By relying solely on power suppliers for electricity, businesses risk having power outages and losing precious business resources in the meantime. Power outages result in business downtime and can be damaging for a business, especially if it keeps happening repeatedly.
By installing commercial solar panels, you can mitigate the risks caused by power outages and enjoy uninterrupted electricity to your property. They work great as a primary as well as a backup solution if the power from your supplier goes out.
While there are so many great benefits of installing commercial solar panels, as with most things, they come with their share of drawbacks. One of the biggest drawbacks of solar panel installation is the high initial investment.
Although you will see a high return on investment in commercial solar panels, it may take years. In the meantime, you will be paying out-of-pocket. However, when compared to residential solar panel systems, commercial systems are able to generate more power and typically break even much sooner.
Another pressing issue with solar panel systems is their dependence on the weather. All types of solar panels need sunlight to convert the sun’s energy into electricity. During poor weather conditions, such as when the weather is rainy, cloudy, or snowy, the efficiency of the systems is likely to decrease considerably.
While solar panels are still able to generate electricity with indirect sunlight and during the colder months, the level of efficiency might be inconsistent during certain times of the year.
When deciding whether or not to invest in solar panels, the cost of commercial solar panels can be a deciding factor for many businesses.
The average cost for commercial solar panel installation can be around £16,000 to £70,000 for a small to medium-sized setup. This, of course, is an estimated cost and can vary based on several factors such as the type of solar panels, the number of solar panels, and the amount of energy produced by them.
To determine the size of the panels your business requires and how much your energy consumption is, you can refer to your utility bill which indicates how much electricity you normally consume every month and how much you pay for each kW of electricity used.
On average, a small to medium-sized business in the UK consumes around 30,000 to 50,000 kWh of electricity on an annual basis. While the unit cost varies depending on the location of your business, among other factors, it is usually around £1,000 per kW, plus VAT.
For commercial solar panel installation, you can expect to pay £9,500 + VAT for a 10kW system, while a large 60kW system can go up to £51,000 + VAT.
A big chunk of this cost is attributed to the materials used, namely the panels and inverters. Depending on the size of the system and the amount of material used, larger systems cost more as they would require multiple workers and more time to carry out the installation process.
Although there are currently no government grants for solar panels in commercial buildings in the UK, you can earn money by exporting excess energy back to the grid via the Smart Export Guarantee (SEG). To be eligible to do so, you must have a smart meter in order to measure how much energy you are exporting.
As discussed above, several factors affect the total cost of solar panel installation for commercial properties. They include:
An important thing to note here is that although adding a solar battery storage system will add to the overall cost of installing your commercial solar panel system, it can help get the most out of the system by storing excess solar energy and using it after the sun has gone down.
If you are interested in installing commercial solar panels and solar battery storage solutions, Calder Electrical can offer both and help you choose the best ones that suit both your requirements and budget. Contact us here for a professional consultation right away!
One of the biggest advantages of solar panels is that they do not require much maintenance, and therefore, their maintenance costs are very low.
The installation itself is probably the most complicated part of the process. Once that is through, the solar panel system will only have to be checked by a professional every 4 to 6 years. To ensure maximum efficiency, the panels can be gently cleaned and lightly dusted every few months to get rid of any dust, debris, or obstructions.
For most businesses looking to invest in commercial solar panels, the main issue that they need to address is the potential return on investment (ROI).
The average return length for commercial solar panels is around 8 to 12 years depending on the size of the system. Compared to solar systems installed in homes, commercial solar systems break even at a much quicker pace and can take better advantage of free electricity since most businesses operate only during the daytime.
Another way to reduce the return length for commercial solar panels is to export excess energy via the Smart Export Guarantee (SEG), although there are certain limitations over how much energy can be exported.
That being said, whether you are a small, medium, or large business, investing in solar panels is a great solution for generating free and clean energy. The ROI, however, depends on factors that include the initial investment, the size of the solar panel installation, and the savings on energy costs over the years.
If you run a small-sized business and have an average 4kW system installed on your property, you can expect a return length of approximately 10 to 12 years and an estimated savings of £404 per year.
If you run a medium to large-sized business, you will probably require a bigger setup with higher installation costs but also more savings. A 20kW system would start paying back in 8 to 12 years, whereas a much bigger 150kW system would do so in between 10 and 12 years.
Now that you know what commercial solar panels are, how much they cost to install, and how much and how soon you can start saving with them, are they actually worth it? The answer to this is yes!
The benefits associated with commercial solar panels are several and include reduced energy costs, lower carbon emissions, and a greener and more responsible image for your business.
Moving forth, renewable energy resources such as solar and wind power should be the go-to energy-generating solution for businesses across the UK. Not only will this help save money on energy costs but is the need of the hour in terms of climate change and the steps required to mitigate it.
Since most businesses operate during the daytime, it makes complete sense for them to switch to solar energy as they can fully benefit from the shining sun throughout the day. Even for businesses operating during the night, combining solar panels with solar battery storage systems can enable them to save up excess energy generated during the day and use it after sundown.
Commercial solar panels are a great long-term investment, with many manufacturers offering a 20 to 25-year warranty on solar panels. That, coupled with minimal maintenance, seems like a great deal!
Calder Electrical Services provides a wide range of solutions to help you play your part in making the world a more sustainable place.
If you wish to have solar panels installed on your commercial property, our experts can conduct a site visit to determine your requirements and propose the best location to install them.
We also offer solar battery storage installation so that you can minimise any wastage of the energy you create. This will help lower your energy bills and make you more independent from the grid. Contact us here or call us on 0800 612 3001 to talk to our experts right away!
Or would like us to provide a survey and quote then please contact us and we will be happy to help.Call us on 0800 612 3001