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Solar Expert: Electricity that doesn't cost the Earth

Neil Stott of Mypower looks at why greening your business and investing in commercial solar PV does not mean that you have to make a commercial compromise.

Most companies are considering their environmental impact but think they will have to cut back in other areas of their business, such as development of products or services. Climate change isn’t going away though and businesses need to think about how they tackle green issues seriously.

The installation of a well-designed solar system is a step on the right path to clean electricity, and carbon reductions. A solar PV system offers your company your own clean renewable electricity for as little as 4-5p/unit, in comparison to 15p/unit from the national grid. With this in mind, solar PV quickly becomes a commercial opportunity.

Sounds too good to be true?

You may well be thinking that these prices sound almost too good to be true, but it gets even better.  Mypower design and install commercial solar PV systems for clients who regularly achieve an ROI of over 15 per cent on their solar PV systems and generate clean electricity for their own business (or tenants) at 1/3 of the price of buying from the grid. It often comes as a surprise to many business owners the savings they can make by installing solar panels on their empty rooftop, and how quickly they see a return on their investment.

We pride ourselves on our attention to both the commercial and technical details (one of the reasons why we were selected to install a 150-panel system on Gloucester Cathedral in 2016), and have helped a number of businesses and public sector organisations to a greener, cleaner future. 

Is solar PV the right energy solution for your business?

Would a solar PV system be right for every business?  Well, if your business spends more than £1,000 a month on your electricity, you have a building with a metal roof, or one that is less than 20 years old, then it’s definitely worth considering.

Most companies can make significant savings with solar.  Businesses with higher energy demands such as manufacturers, food producers and those with cold storage facilities will benefit the most, but equally our SME customers are still generating electricity at a third of the price of grid supplied and they are preparing for future growth and the Electric Vehicle revolution.

With a solar PV system, you could generate your own clean electricity for 4-5p/unit which would be a great saving on the 15p/kw that you are likely to be currently paying.  Your electricity supply becomes better protected from energy price hikes in the future.

Payback on average can be reached within 5-7 years, and that’s before you take into consideration any potential advantage which is available from Annual Investment Allowance tax benefits.  Essentially, within 5 years, your business could be generating it’s own free electricity. 

The ROI in the first year is usually in excess of 15%.  Even after paying capital and interest payments, many customers are making savings from Year 1.  Asset financing options are also worth considering as they are relatively cheap now and easily obtainable.

Electricity which doesn’t cost the Earth

But we all know it’s not just about saving money, it’s about clean renewable energy and our contribution towards a carbon neutral future.  Our customers have been reducing their carbon footprint with CO2 down by 50-100 tonnes a year simply by generating their own energy using solar PV.

Financing solar

TQuickgrind Ltd received Solar PV Granthere are numerous ways to finance your solar PV investment including long-term loans, bank loans and mortgages.  With a well-designed system and the use of your capital allowance benefits, you could see overall savings in as little as 12 months under a finance agreement. We can also put you in touch with lenders and finance companies which offer asset finance on commercial solar PV systems that our customers have used in the past.

There are also grants available to SMEs of up to 249 employees in some areas of the UK, which help fund the installation of commercial energy-saving measures.  Potentially, it could provide you with between £2,000 and £20,000 towards the cost of a solar PV system. Please ask us for advice.

One of our recent customers, Quickgrind Ltd, whose business processes consume some 1.2 million units of electricity a year, recently received £40,000 in grant funding.  With their subsequent installation of solar PV, the engineering manufacturer based in Tewkesbury is starting to enjoy the forecast saving of £1.1 million over the next 25 years.

Businesses benefiting from Solar PV

Wirral NHS Trust – wanted to reduce the health centre’s environmental impact. With the installation of a 100kW solar PV system, they will reduce their electricity bill by 22%.

Wiles Greenworld - A 81kW solar PV system installation will save the company over £14,000 a year on their electricity bills and cut their CO2 emissions by over 28 tonnes each The Dean of Gloucester & Ben Harrison of Mypoweryear.

Gloucester Cathedral – our award-winning installation at Gloucester Cathedral was the first of its kind anywhere in the world. Their energy costs will be reduced by 25 percent, saving £190,000 over the next 25 years. The solar will provide 16 tonnes of CO2 savings per year, the equivalent of planting 3.5 acres of woodland per annum.                               

Electricity prices are expected to continue to rise.  The good news is that your business can generate fixed cost electricity of 4-5p /unit with the installation of it’s own solar pv installation, avoiding any electricity supplier price rises.

The benefits of solar PV are clear and robust, and importantly have been proven reliable over many years.

We don’t promise the earth, but we are helping to save it.

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