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SOLAR PANELS FOR BUSINESS & COMMERCIAL PREMISES
More and more enterprises are benefiting from installing commercial and business solar panels to help reduce energy bills and reduce carbon footprint.
With over a decade of experience in installing business and commercial solar panels across the UK, at Low Carbon Energy, we’ve provided a vast range of energy-saving solutions to business premises large and small.
To date, we’ve installed over 12MW (48,000 panels) of commercial solar, and have implemented commercial solar systems ranging from 10kw much larger 2MW systems – all on various types of roof structures within many challenging environments.
SOLAR PV INSTALLATIONS FOR BUSINESSES IN THE UK & IRELAND
Commercial Solar Panel Solutions In The UK And Ireland
Though we’re headquartered in Lancashire, UK, in recent years we’ve expanded our presence to Galway in Ireland. Ever since then, we’ve been delivering outstanding results for a range of organisations across a variety of sectors. Our experience with solar PV in Ireland means we’re able to help our Irish customers make significant savings on their energy bills, cut their carbon footprint, meet their sustainability objectives and secure their energy supply for years to come.
Some of our previous happy customers include Irish water, the national water utility of Ireland – we produced a 100kWp solar PV system, saving them 52,739kg of carbon emissions annually, while generating 87,899 kWh of clean electricity every year. You can read more about the project over in our case studies.
Financial Benefits of Solar Panels For Businesses
One of the most obvious and attractive financial benefits of commercial solar is that is allows you to rely less on the National Grid. That means you benefit from reduced utility costs and increased energy security – since you’re not drawing from the national supply, you’re not as heavily affected by all the spikes and troughs in the market. (That’s especially valuable in today’s turbulent climate!)
There’s also the fact that if your surplus energy ends up exceeding your usage as a business, you can even sell it back to the National Grid for profit, making it a handy additional income stream.
Commercial solar panels are cheap to install, and most will often pay for themselves in a relatively short timeframe. The technology is already up to 70% cheaper than it was in 2010, and getting cheaper all the time. Crucially, solar panels are very low-maintenance, so you can rely on them to maintain peak efficiency for a very long time.
Environmental Benefits Of Solar Panels For Commercial Premises
Commercial solar panels provide a reliable and effective way of reducing your climate footprint, which often makes them an integral part of any long-term sustainability strategy. The volume of carbon emissions you could potentially save can be especially high if you run a corporation, or a business with lots of power-intensive facilities and assets, such as a manufacturing company.
Alongside this, they can serve as a very clear and visible sign of your green credentials. This can put you one step ahead of your competitors in today’s increasingly climate-conscious society, where customers, investors and business partners are often making decisions about which businesses to associate with based on their commitment to climate or environmental goals. Many investors in particular are using the ESG criteria (Environmental, Social and Governance) to ethically judge their investments. You can find out more about this over on our CSR page at Low Carbon Energy.
Roof Mounted Solar Panels Businesses
Roof-mounted commercial solar panel installations are the default for many businesses, especially those working in factories and other large commercial or industrial sites, as it allows them to make highly effective use of a space that generally would have gone unutilised otherwise. The size of a roof-mounted installation is dependent on a couple of factors – not just how much available space you have on your roofs, but also your specific energy profile (which we can calculate on your behalf here at Low Carbon Energy, drawing on our own industry-leading expertise).
In case you’re wondering, you’re unlikely to need planning permission for your roof mounted commercial solar panel installation, as the majority of them fall under the category of Permitted Development. This varies slightly if you’re trying to have it installed on (or very close to) a listed building, but if that’s the case, we can always provide you with tailored support and advice as to your available options.
Ground Mounted Solar Panels For Business And Commercial Use
The requirements for ground mounted solar panels are slightly more stringent than they are for roof mounted installations – but only slightly. As you’d expect, ground-mounted installations have the potential to affect their immediate surroundings a bit more than their roof-mounted counterparts, and so most of the planning stipulations are focused on limiting the possibility for any negative aesthetic or practical impacts.
For example, the size of the array should be no more than 9 square metres, or 3m wide by 3m deep. Similarly, they have to be installed at least 5m from the boundary of a property. In the exact words of the government’s planning portal, a ground mounted solar installation “should be sited, so far as is practiceable, to minimise its effect on the amenity of the area”. That may make them a trickier option for smaller businesses, but don’t forget our experts are always on hand to lend their expertise here at Low Carbon Energy.
Why Install Solar Panels For Your Business?
No matter what your sector or industry, rest assured your business can reap huge advantages from installing commercial solar panels.
Whether you’re looking to cut costs, reduce your carbon footprint or future proof your business energy supply, the installation of commercial solar panels can offer your business the perfect energy solution.
For a significant number of our customers, the recent exponential rise in energy prices has been a major factor in their decision to get commercial solar panels. So far, there have been no signs of these price rises tapering off at any point in the immediate future, so future-proofing your business against them has never been so important. Commercial solar panels protect you from market fluctuations by allowing you to forward-buy your energy at more economical prices – blunting the impact of high energy bills, saving you money and giving you peace of mind.
Why Invest In Solar PV?
- Enjoy a levelised cost of electricity (potentially as as low as £0.03/kWh) for your energy
- Significantly reduce your energy usage and spend
- RETURNS OF UP TO (AND IN EXCESS OF) 20%
- 100% asset finance available
- Meet your CSR objectives
- Secured electricity for 25 years
- Low maintenance
- Minimal disruption to your business
Business Solar Installation Case Studies
Boohoo PLCFind Out More
Opus EnergyFind Out More
Coach HouseFind Out More
Customers who have taken control of their energy with low carbon
- Why Use Commercial Solar Panels For Your Business?
Why Use Commercial Solar Panels For Your Business?
No matter what your sector or industry, rest assured your business can reap huge advantages from commercial solar panels. Whether you’re looking to cut costs, reduce your carbon footprint or futureproof your business energy supply, commercial solar panels can offer the perfect energy solution.
The uptake of commercial solar panels has seen a steady rise in recent years here in the UK, and with good reason. By their nature, most businesses are active primarily during the day, when solar panels will produce the most energy. This is amongst the most pivotal reasons that they can save your business so much money, with costs savings often running into the hundreds or even into the thousands. Particularly energy-intensive industries (such as manufacturing) often see the most considerable gains, but the many advantages that commercial solar panels have to offer can be applied across a huge number of sectors, meaning there’s almost no business or organisation which doesn’t stand to benefit.
- The Benefits Of Commercial Solar Panels For Businesses
The Benefits Of Commercial Solar Panels For Businesses
There’s no shortage of advantages for businesses when it comes to solar panels. At a glance, the main benefits include:
- Considerable cost savings
- Financial stability and energy security/flexibility
- A greatly reduced carbon footprint
- Improved public perception of your business through Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR)
To expand upon these in a little more detail…
Considerable Cost Savings For Your Business
A newfound ability to generate clean, free energy during daytime hours allows you to be less reliant on the National Grid, which is facing increasing pressure to effectively meet UK demand. Though the exact level of savings can shift back and forth over time, many businesses have been able to slash their energy costs by as much as half.
Financial Stability And Energy Security/Flexibility
For a little while now energy prices have been steadily on the rise, which means more cost for your business later on down the line. However, by sourcing your energy from commercial solar panels, you’re effectively forward-buying your electricity at a set cost. This gives you a great measure of protection from fluctuating market prices and provides an extra safeguard against the effects of future regulation, making financial forecasting much easier. As well as this energy security, solar panels also give you increased flexibility on whether to use this energy immediately, sell it or store it for use at a later date.
A Greatly Reduced Carbon Footprint
Many modern businesses are finding that their energy demand is only increasing over time, as digital processes and automated equipment take more and more traditional roles from humans and manual methods. That makes carbon footprint a major item on our collective agenda, and it’s a concern neatly addressed by the use of commercial solar panels. Installing solar PV can considerably cut down on your business’ carbon emissions, allowing you to optimise your sustainable business strategy.
Improved Public Perception Through CSR
On a related note, growing environmental concern across the globe means that businesses now have more responsibility than ever to make sure their operations are having minimal environmental impact. (This is what Corporate Social Responsibility refers to.)
Today, consumers are more environmentally-aware than ever before, and research continues to show that they’re attracted most towards businesses who are able to prove their commitment to environmental initiatives. Using commercial solar panels to produce your energy is a great public demonstration of this commitment, and can result in improved lead generation and greater sales for your business.
- How Much Do Commercial Solar Panels Cost Businesses?
How Much Do Commercial Solar Panels Cost Businesses?
This depends on a number of factors, including the size of your project and where you plan to install them. As a general rule though, if you’re paying outright for your commercial solar panels, then a small commercial solar panel system will require about £10,000 to install.
- supply and installation of your solar panels
- Inverter and isolators
- Testing and certification
- Administration costs, including registration with regulators and your supplier
If you can’t afford this though, don’t worry! There’s a wide variety of finance options and ways to pay when it comes to commercial solar panels.
For example, you may be eligible for a power purchase agreement. Essentially, this involves the installation of solar panels on the roof of your premises at no cost to your business. The electricity generated from these is then purchased back from the funder at a greatly reduced rate compared to normal suppliers. This method can easily allow you to save hundreds or even thousands of pounds, while benefitting the funder too. Everyone wins!
We offer a number ourselves here at Low Carbon Energy, which you can find on our Ways To Pay page. These currently include:
- 100% Finance – our network of finance partners allows us to offer competitive options tailored to suit your business
- Free Solar – a low-cost, flexible, unsecured loan
- Do You Need Planning Permission For Commercial Solar Panels?
Do You Need Planning Permission For Commercial Solar Panels?
Sometimes, but not necessarily. It used to be the case that planning permission was almost always required, but nowadays it’s not necessary for the installation of solar PV systems on non-domestic buildings. In other words, business premises and community buildings are generally exempt, and small ground-mounted systems can also be constructed without planning permission as ‘permitted development’.
However, for this exemption to apply you must make sure to meet a number of conditions:
- Roof-mounted solar installations are not permitted to protrude by more than 200mm from the roof’s surface. In cases of flat-roof installations, the solar panels must be less than 1m above the highest part of the roof.
- Roof mounted installations also have to be further than 1m away from the edge of the roof or wall joint, and absolutely cannot protrude over the roof’s lip.
- In specially-designated areas such as Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB), no solar panels are permitted on the road-facing wall or roof slope.
- Commercial solar panels also need to be positioned so that they minimise intrusion on the appearance of the building and general area.
- Any material or equipment that goes unused in the construction or operation of the solar panels should be removed as soon as possible.
You will definitely need planning permission if your solar panels are going to be installed on any sites of historical interest, such as listed buildings, ancient monuments or world heritage sites. Of course, here at Low Carbon Energy we’re always happy to advise on any planning requirements for installations, whatever their size or scale.
- How Efficient Are Commercial Solar Panels?
How Efficient Are Commercial Solar Panels?
The rate at which solar panels convert sunlight into energy is always measured in percentages. If we say that the sun produces 100% energy, solar panels generally process anywhere between 15% to 22% of that into usable energy. It might not sound like much, but trust us, it’s enough to save you thousands!
What Affects Commercial Solar Panel Efficiency?
The efficiency of solar panels is obviously their most important performance parameter For that reason, all solar panels that are sold in the UK are subject to extensive testing before they’re released onto the market.
In strictly controlled conditions, they’re tested for their ability to handle:
- Snow and ice
- Chemical residue
- UV degradation
- Rain and humidity
- Insulation resistance
- Thermal cycling
It goes without saying that all the commercial solar panels we supply at Low Carbon Energy are subject to rigorous manufacturing standards, and we provide an ongoing planned maintenance programme to help ensure that your panels maintain optimum efficiency and performance.
- Why Choose Low Carbon Energy As Your Solar Panel Installers?
Why Choose Low Carbon Energy As Your Solar Panel Installers?
Our specialists have decades of experience installing successful solar panel solutions for businesses in a huge range of sectors across the UK and Ireland. We combine industry-leading equipment with peerless expertise as we tailor our solutions to meet your exact requirements, allowing you to get the very most from your on-site energy generation.
We offer our clients a fully comprehensive turnkey service, right from the initial planning stages all the way through to the final installation. We can work alongside architects, lead contractors and building consultants, co-ordinating our approach with other professionals to get your project completed on budget and on schedule.
Low Carbon Energy also offer a comprehensive service and maintenance programme with a focus on ensuring your solar panels reliably stay at maximum efficiency, so you can continue enjoying peak energy generation and cost savings.
We believe in keeping an open, friendly approach with our customers, and our experts are always happy to answer any questions you might have, no matter how simple or complex they may be.
Give us a call today on 08456 808 963 (or the alternative number above if you’re based in Ireland) to discuss what we can do for your business. Alternatively, take a quick look through our case studies below to see what we’ve achieved for previously satisfied customers.
- HOW MUCH DO COMMERCIAL SOLAR PANELS COST UK?
The cost of commercial panels is measured in pence per kilowatt, which means that most projects will cost somewhere between £40,000 to £200,000.
However, that’s not a hard and fast rule, just a generalisation. Obviously, the precise cost of your own commercial solar panels project will depend on a number of different factors, for example the amount of roof space you have available, your energy usage, the number of panels you’ll need, and whether you’ll require any extras, such as solar batteries or a fleet of EV chargers.
- WHAT ARE THE INSTALLATION COSTS?
With the installation of a commercial solar panel system, the main things you’re paying for are the panels and the inverters.
One way you can roughly estimate the installation costs is by multiplying £0.2p by the number of watts your installation will require. So a 10kW system, for example, would cost about £2000 (excluding VAT). Larger commercial systems though, like the majority of ones we fit here at Low Carbon Energy, will require notably more up-front investment to start providing substantial benefits in the long term.
However, the good news is that once the initial installation costs are covered, there are very few additional ones to worry about, as solar panels are very low maintenance by nature.
- WHAT ARE THE MAINTENANCE COSTS WITH COMMERCIAL SOLAR PANELS?
Solar panels are very inexpensive to maintain – an annual service will generally cost anywhere between £100 to £200. Again, the exact cost is dependent on the size of your installation.
Reactive callouts for repairs to your solar panels can be significantly more. This is one of the main reasons we always recommend opting for a preventative maintenance plan for solar panel installations, rather than only calling for an engineer when something goes wrong – preventative maintenance gives you more value in the long run. (Not to mention plenty of peace of mind!)
Mostly, solar panels just require a light cleaning to remove dust and debris, ensuring that they continue operating at peak efficiency. With larger commercial solar panel installations, this is not a DIY job, as it can be easy for someone inexperienced to accidentally damage one of the panels, especially if they don’t have the right knowledge or tools. Instead, it’s always better to enlist the services of an expert who knows what they’re doing, like our engineers here at Low Carbon Energy!
If you’ve got any more specific questions on maintenance, we recommend checking out our full post on solar panel maintenance.
- HOW LONG DO SOLAR PANELS LAST?
The average commercial solar panel lasts for at least 25 years, and many have been known to surpass 30, so you can rely on them to help you cut your energy bills (and carbon footprint) for decades. That doesn’t mean they’ll stop working once this time is up – it just means that this is the time when they’ll be working at peak efficiency.
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