Make Money with Commercial Solar PV
Installing Solar PVs
As the costs of our non-renewable energy sources continue to increase and the environmental situation is becoming critical, more and more businesses are investing in various sustainable technologies to benefit from renewable energy resources. Not just in the UK, but countries all across the globe are becoming inspired to invest in alternative energies. An increasingly popular way of achieving this is by installing solar photovoltaic installations (PVs). These will not only reduce your carbon footprint, they could also make you money. The Feed-in Tariff will guarantee generous subsidies to those willing to generate their own energy.
Financial Gain from Feed-in Tariff
The UK Government introduced the new Feed-in Tariff (FIT) legislation as an incentive to make alternative energy sources a profitable investment. The annual return from the Feed-in Tariff for solar photovoltaic installations is 12%. These contributions are paid over a 25 year period and the investment starts paying back after around 7 or 8 years. Solar installation users will earn money whether they use the energy themselves or it is sold back to the grid. The amount of energy generated is measured by a generation meter installed along with the PV system. You should attempt to use as much of this energy as you can, as it is saving you around 13p per unit compared to 3.1p if you export it. It is worth noting that electricity prices are currently running at an average of 15p per unit and will continue to rise.
Please note that in order to accurately measure the amount of electricity you are exporting back to the grid, you will need an export meter. This is in addition to a generation meter and can only be fitted by your electricity company. Having an export meter installed is not essential, especially for smaller premises where the system is smaller than 30kWp, in which case your exported amount is assumed to be 50% of your total generation. In most cases, this is thought to work in your favour. However, if you suspect you are going to export a lot more than 50% of your total generation, then consideration should be giving to having an export meter installed.
The EPC Requirement
The Feed-in Tariff for solar PV installations is linked to the EPC rating of the building on which it is installed, or through which it is wired. Customers will be required to prove that any building wired in such a way as to be of benefit from a PV installation has an EPC rating of D or above. If this cannot be proven, then customers will not qualify for the full Feed-in Tariff rate. Properties bought or leased from October 2008 should already have an EPC, as this is now required by law. Check the paperwork for your building and if this is not available, contact the agent through which you acquired the property. If it is already rated D or above, all you will be required to do is provide a copy of the certificate when you register for the Feed-in Tariff scheme. If your property is rated E, this shouldn't be too much of an issue as the solar installation itself will contribute to this rating and should in most cases bring it up to a D rating.
Ecovision Renewable Energy install PVs for businesses, agriculture, public sector, community projects and residential settings. This company are fully accredited and have consistently won awards, both for design and installation. Ecovision will explain the Feed-in Tariff to you and provide information on possible grants available, as well as explain the best options to suit your requirements and budget.
Evoenergy are also fully accredited and picked up the REA Installer of the Year award 2011. They are the UK's leading independent solar PV installer. Evoenergy offer a complete commercial service for contractors, subcontractors, architects and consultants. They promise a smooth, swift and hassle free project from start to finish, with projects tailored to meet the exact requirements of your business.
Solarsense is a major South West installer and is one of the most experienced installers of large roof mounted arrays in the UK, particularly in relation to farm buildings, where they are acknowledged as industry leaders. They have an impressive recent client list and are of course fully accredited.
JHS Solar Solutions are an independent supplier and installer of PV panels, slates and tiles who operate throughout the Midlands. As accredited installers, they have an impressive portfolio of MCS certified products. They install both roof and ground mounted solutions and have a range of products to suit all budgets. They claim only to use the highest quality solar products, manufactured to suit UK weather conditions. JHS encourage you to view their ethics statement.
These are just a few commercial installers of solar PV. However, installers more local to your area can easily be found online. Many businesses are struggling with energy bills at the moment and more and more are requesting advice and a free quotation. This silent, and virtually maintenance free power production is definitely the way forward in these uncertain times.