Solar panels for businesses

Article posted

18th Oct 2022

Read time

7-14 min read


Mollie Pinnington

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What is solar energy?

Solar panels or Photovoltaics work by converting energy from the sun into power. We make the most out of solar energy with systems such as solar PV systems. This allows us to use solar energy from the sun to generate electricity for our homes and buildings.


Why solar panels will benefit your business

Like any other business investment, it is important to weigh up whether a financial investment would be worth it. Here are some of the benefits that Solar energy can provide.


Cut overhead business costs

Using solar power for your business energy needs can cut the overhead costs of using expensive energy. Overhead costs for your business include any additional expenses outside of wages and operational materials.

Energy expenses can be one of the main overhead costs for businesses in the UK, especially with the sharp price rises we have seen in recent times. This means it could be the perfect time for your business to invest in solar panels as the energy generated will reduce the amount of energy you have to pay for.


Energy independence

Installing a commercial solar panel system can reduce your business’s dependence on energy from the national grid. The more power your building generates, the less electricity you will pay for. Depending on the type of energy system installed you could use batteries to store any excess energy generated by the solar panels, this can be used at times when solar generation is low.

The main reason for high energy prices in the UK has been higher wholesale prices of gas and electricity. However, with more energy independence, your business will be less affected by price volatility in the energy market.


Return on investment

The installation cost of solar panels might be a big investment for your business, however, the ROI generated from this will mean you will eventually earn your money back from generation.

With a commercial PV system, there are likely going to be times when you generate more energy than you can use or store. The excess energy is then exported to the grid for which you could receive an export payment.


Create sustainability within your business

Solar power is a type of clean and renewable energy. This benefits your business as it reduces reliance on fossil fuels. In turn, the more renewable energy your business begins to use, the lower your carbon footprint is.

This not only helps ensure your business is working towards producing fewer greenhouse gasses but also increases your company's green credentials and improves your reputation.


How do solar panels wor with your electcity bill UK?

Businesses can expect reductions ranging from 30% to 65% on their electricity bills. This translates to substantial cost savings, with some businesses reporting tens of thousands of pounds saved annually. The long-term benefit of solar becomes even more attractive when considering the protection it offers against rising grid electricity costs. This means your overall energy bills will be significantly reduced with solar energy


How to get the most out of Solar PV

Reduce electricity use

By using solar panels, you will reduce how much electricity you use from the national grid, which will ultimately reduce the amount you pay.

Also, increasing energy efficiency in other areas of your business and reducing your electricity usage could help decrease the amount of electricity needed from the grid, especially if your business operates outside of daylight hours.


Increase electricity usage during the day

To get the most out of your solar PV system you should try to use your equipment that uses the most electricity throughout the day. This is because your solar panels will be working at peak during daylight hours. This could include putting equipment on a timer to switch off at night time when it’s not in use.


Combine with other renewable systems

Using solar systems with other renewable energy could lead to further cost-cutting. For example, if you have heat pumps installed in your business, they can be powered by solar meaning that you would also use less gas as well as electricity.

Solar PV systems also work great with energy-reducing technologies such as voltage optimizers. This could save you even more energy as the electricity not needed will be bounced back to the grid.


Grants available for a solar panel for business UK

Smart Export Gaurantee

With a solar PV system, your business could be eligible for a Smart Export Guarantee (SEG). This is a government-backed scheme which allows you to sell your surplus electricity back to the national grid. Not all energy suppliers offer this scheme as only those with over 150,000 domestic customers are required to do so.

For Solar, the maximum installed capacity must be below 5MW. Therefore, this is more suited to smaller businesses with fewer energy requirements.

Solar PPA

A Solar PPA is a financing agreement where a solar provider installs and maintains a solar panel system on your property at no upfront cost to you. You then purchase the electricity generated by the system at a predetermined rate, typically lower than your current utility rate.


Does your business need a DNO application for solar

For most commercial solar installations, a DNO application will be necessary. This application will allow the DNO to make the relevant system changes to prepare the local grid for the amount of electricity generated from your solar panels.


Commercial solar panel installation

Finding the best solar panels for your business can be difficult. With so many different systems to choose from, it could be difficult to know where to start when it comes to installing solar.

Our net zero consultants can find you the best system for your business. We will not only ensure that the solar panels we chose for you will not only reduce your energy bills but minimize carbon emissions and reduce your carbon footprint. Find out about our solar calculator today to get a quote. 

Contact us today to get a free solar panel quote and decide whether solar pales will be the best option for your business.


Which Solar Panel is Best for UK Businesses?

Choosing the best solar panel depends on specific business needs, budget, and site characteristics. The most popular tpyes of solar in the UK are Monocrystalline, Polycrystalline, Thin-Film Solar and Bifacial Solar Panels. The type of solar panel you need for your business will depend on the size and needs of your organisation. 

How long does it take to install commercial solar panels? 

This completely depends on your business and what is required for you to have solar panels installed in your building. This can range from a few weeks to a few months. This is due to site evaluation having to take place beforehand. However, the actual construction time on your building could be done in 2 weeks depending on the complexity of the project.


Can solar panels power an entire commercial building?

With a solar PV system, you could rely on renewable energy throughout the daytime. However, your business would still use energy from the grid outside of daylight hours if energy demand becomes higher than supply. To reduce this, see our tips on how to improve energy efficiency in your business.


Can my business continue working during solar panel installation?

Yes, most businesses should be able to continue operating as normal during solar panel installation. However, if it is possible you could try to have them installed outside of business hours, such as at weekends. If you are a School, College, or University you could get solar panels installed during term time to minimize disruptions.


How long do solar panels last?

Business solar panels, depending on the quality can last up to 25 years. Most solar systems can have a warranty of between 10-12 years. However, this can vary between different types of solar panels.


Do solar panels need maintenance?

Luckily solar panels are usually made to last for at least 25 years and are really low maintenance. However, to ensure that they are always working in peak condition, regular servicing may be required.

If you're ready to improve your energy efficiency whilst driving down your electricity bills, then solar panels could be a good option for your business.  Request a free solar quote now and start reducing your carbon footprint and energy bills today.