Innovate Energy commercial solar investment: aerial view of a building's solar panel installation

Commercial solar - sustainability AND a significant ROI

Oct 14, 2021

Installing rooftop solar on our homes is all the rage but, if you’re a local business owner, considering solar for your workplace can have even more compelling advantages than a home installation.

Similar to the residential solar market, government rebates and incentives apply in the small-business environment plus there are instant tax incentives available for commercial solar installations. There’s the obvious benefit of a significant reduction in future energy costs and then also the less tangible but increasingly important benefits of running a business that has good ‘carbon credentials’.

As governments across the globe strive to meet carbon emission targets there is pressure on the world’s biggest companies to do their bit to become sustainable. This is increasingly being presented under the banner of ESG … Environmental, Social, and Corporate Governance. ESG is an evaluation of a company’s efforts towards doing the ‘right thing’ for social and environmental issues. There is a new industry of consultancies, for example Ecovadis, in the business of setting benchmarks and designing and rolling out initiatives across the big global companies to quantitatively measure an organisation’s ESG targets and success.

And this is where SME businesses roll into the picture. A ‘sustainable supply chain’ is an important aspect of an organisation’s ESG rating. So if your business is part of the supply chain for a larger organisations, chances are any carbon credentials you achieve will have a positive impact on the sustainability assessment of your large clients, making you a more desirable supplier. In fact it’s estimated that 91% of companies take sustainability criteria into account in purchasing decisions and that 85% of consumers are more likely to buy from a company with a reputation for sustainability than from a neutral company.

Convinced? So what do you need to consider from a practical perspective when looking at a commercial solar panel installation?

Business goals for solar

Understand in advance what your goals for a solar energy solution are. These will influence the size and type of equipment you require which in turn affects the cost of your investment. Things to consider include:

  • Is the goal of the installation focussed primarily on reducing the business’s energy costs? Or are you wanting to achieve a backup source of energy to keep your business running during power outages?

  • How will your energy needs change in the future? Is company growth and therefore increased energy needs expected over the next 5-10 years? This needs to be accounted for in the planning stage of any sustainable energy installation.

  • Are your business’s energy needs contained to daylight hours? Or do you have equipment or machinery that operate 24/7, making a solar battery a worthwhile consideration?

Once you know what you want solar to achieve for your company, the team at Innovate can support you with calculating your energy requirements and the best equipment to meet your goals.

Physical restraints

Businesses tend to have high energy needs and therefore require larger numbers of solar panels than home installations. Before committing to solar it is important to consider if the building structure and roofing material are suitable for the rooftop load that will be required. Additionally, as solar panels are a long-term investment that gets bolted to the roofing material, investigate the state of repair of your building’s roof. Does it need repair or replacement before a solar installation?

Correct system sizing and equipment choice

Weather conditions and patterns in your area and shade conditions in your location are all part of the pre-installation planning. Calculations of daily and peak power consumption, plus ensuring your solar panels meet your energy goals during winter as well as peak summer are important aspects of choosing the right sized installation for your business.

At Innovate Energy we pride ourselves on inspecting all solar installation sites to ensure our recommendations are tailored to your specific requirements. Our team are all qualified electricians so our quotes cover the end-to-end solution and we don’t cut costs or corners by supplying any lower-quality components. The integrity of the whole solar installation relies on the quality of all the components so we have teamed up with reputable and quality suppliers to ensure the longevity of your investment.

With financing options available from Solaris Finance, the eligibility for commercial solar installations to be fully written off in the first year to offset tax bills and the immediate return on investment achieved through lower energy bills, there’s never been a better time to investigate the solar options available for your business.

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