Business owners who are environmentally conscious should consider making the switch to renewable energy. This will help you lower your carbon emissions and contribute to the wider decarbonisation of the country’s electricity network. Solar panels are one of the most popular ways of generating clean energy. As an owner or manager, you want to calculate if the initial investment will yield the return on investment you’re looking for through lower fuel bills.
There are two main renewable options to consider, these are solar and wind power. Firms that own their own land will have the physical space to install a generator such as a wind turbine. However, a wind turbine may be better suited for larger businesses, smaller companies will find that solar panels are a more cost-effective solution. In addition to adding this modern technology to your premises, you’ll also want to consider switching to a green energy tariff to see the biggest impact.
It’s quick and easy to compare energy suppliers at utilitysavingexpert.com, to obtain a free quote, simply enter a few details about your business and energy consumption. You will then be presented with a list of suppliers, tariffs and contract lengths to choose from.
Solar panels are the most accessible form of renewable energy generation for most businesses. An empty roof can save you money on electricity or even generate a passive income stream. Here’s how to get started.
Find a developer
If you have the space, you’ll need to start by finding a developer who can install these panels. Getting a recommendation from a trusted firm, like your current energy provider should make things easier. Each developer has their own expertise, so it’s vital that you make the right choice for your business needs. The Microgeneration Certificate Scheme website has a list of local approved installers.
Normally, it’s a good idea to get a minimum of three different quotations to help you compare the price and service. This is also applicable when you’re choosing which developer to go with.
Arrange contract terms
So, you’ve now found the right developer. At this stage, you will need to arrange the contract terms. Things to consider include: installation design, payment terms from the design, warranty and total cost without hidden charges.
Depending on what type and level of installation you opt for, an operations and maintenance package may also be necessary. This is because some guarantees and warranties will make regular servicing mandatory.
The developer will conduct an audit beforehand to make sure things are in order. He/she will look at roof suitability, panel size, angle and sunlight exposure. Your current electrical connection will also be assessed to ensure it meets the demands of your current generator. A compatibility test will also take place once the contract has been signed.
Do you want to sell your energy?
The contract terms will include whether you wish to export and sell energy. Most business owners that opt for solar panels will likely make use of the electricity themselves to reduce their own bills.
However, depending on how much you consume and how much power you’re able to generate, you may wish to sell some of your excess electricity, especially on a sunny day. A PPA (Power Purchase Agreement) can help you sell your excess energy at the market rate. Your existing business electricity supplier will be able to assist you with setting up export MPANs. This is your meter supply point which is needed to allow your system to export any surplus electricity.
Installing solar panels for small businesses shouldn’t take more than a couple of days. However, larger installations on commercial properties can take longer than a week. For the roof installation to go ahead, scaffolding will be put up to support the work. After this, a frame will be attached which allows the panels to be installed. Next, the electrical system will be configured and tested. Once done, you should be ready to generate electricity.
Now that the installation has been completed. It’s time to start generating energy. The solar panel system will convert light photons into usable electricity. This will then be stored in a battery storage system to power your building. Energy that is needed will be consumed, if you opted for a PPA, you can export energy back to the National Grid through your partner energy provider. This allows you to start generating income for unused power.
Carbon footprint reduction
When utilising renewable energy sources, your carbon footprint will be much lower in comparison to using traditional fuel sources such as coal and oil. Most generation systems will include a digital platform, this can help you monitor how much energy you are generating in addition to the income you’ll receive for surplus energy. Real-time data can help you understand how you’re benefiting from the new system.