01 Apr Are solar panels worth it for my business?
With no end in sight to rising energy prices, businesses that consume lots of electricity might be better off generating their own power through solar panels. What’s more, any electricity you generate but do not use can be sold back to your energy supplier via the Feed-in-Tariff.
Unfortunately, the government opened a new TIF scheme with different rates and rules earlier this year, which has got several businesses wondering whether solar panels are actually worth it.
Reasons for solar panels
Despite recent cuts to the FIT, solar panels remain a viable option for energy conscious and eco-friendly business, as they can help you:
- Save money – In addition to lowering your energy demand from the grid during daylight hours, the government FIT offers an index linked 8-13 per cent ROI over 20 years with solar panels according to The Eco Experts. For panels that last 50 years, you will receive half a century of free energy too.
- Competitive advantage – There is a good chance you could offset most, if not all, of your organisation’s carbon emissions with solar panels. Even if the environment is not a prime concern, showing clients and customers you are a sustainable business could give you a competitive advantage in the marketplace and strengthen relationships with your supply chain.
- Energy security – The growing energy demands of the UK is putting the grid under increasing pressure, which has forced the government to introduce mandatory energy audits for large business through the Energy Savings Opportunity Scheme. So, to avoid the possibility of future blackouts or regulations, it could well be worth going off-grid with solar panels.
Reasons against solar panels
In addition to the initial cost, which can spiral into tens or even hundreds of thousands of pounds, solar panels provide an intermittent energy source, need a great deal of space, and still require fossil fuels for their production.
Also, you can reap the rewards of solar panels in a number of other ways. To give an example, LED lights are cheaper than low-energy halogen light bulbs as well as Compact Fluorescent Lights (CFL), boast a lifespan in excess of 25 years, and don’t leave a significant carbon footprint.
Therefore, it might make sense to explore alternative means of saving money and achieving energy security before investing in solar panels. However, if your business can make solar panels work, they offer a distinct competitive advantage and provide you with an additional income.