Five reasons why installing care home solar panels should be a priority for 2024

Five reasons why installing care home solar panels should be a priority for 2024

Care home managers must balance many different financial, commercial and healthcare-led areas of work. On top of that, they must put the needs of their residents and their families first, as well as work in harmony with the local communities. A major concern of many stakeholders in the past few years has been working sustainably to help combat climate change and reduce reliance on finite fuel sources. This is where care home solar panels can be a highly desirable addition to a residential care business.

Care home solar panels and the bottom line

Many care homes are feeling the financial squeeze right now. Winter is an expensive time, as heating bills will inevitably increase, as well as medical care for vulnerable residents finding the colder conditions more harmful to their overall health. Installing care home solar panels can help reduce overheads around energy bills. Being able to store any electricity not used straight away in a battery can also help keep costs of electricity used during duller days and at night more manageable. What’s more, any surplus electricity that your care home will not need can be sold to the National Grid to help even more with finances and longer-term budgeting.

Communications, marketing and care home solar panels

More and more businesses are waking up to the marketing and communications advantages of visibly pursuing a more sustainable way of operating. In the same way, care home solar panels can really help managers show potential and existing residents and their families that they are not simply paying sustainability lip service. Installing visible care home solar panels on the roof of the building sends a powerful message to visitors. Talking about how a care home is generating greener energy makes for a compelling marketing campaign. Care home solar panels could even provide that sought-after ‘edge’ over competitors who have not yet taken the decision to invest.

Care home solar panels and the wider community

Sometimes, when one business in a community makes a move towards more sustainable operations, other will follow their lead. Solar panels can be easily spotted on a roof or flat surface and can generate a lot of interest locally. Likewise, they can be a source of education for local schools, other care homes and community groups, who could be interested in talking to you and your team about the benefits that you are experiencing. Another way to help the wider community is to sell any surplus electricity to the National Grid. This helps reduce pressure on the fossil fuels needed to produce energy for conventional energy suppliers.

Future proofing care homes with greener energy

Another reason why care home solar panels are a good idea is to prepare for future advances in energy generation. We are seeing ever increasing involvement of renewable energy sources in the way we power our lives. From electric cars to heat pumps and solar panels, technology and systems once considered quirky or off-beat are becoming conventional and accepted as the norm. If you have care home solar panels already installed when the time comes for you to sell the business, this can be a big advantage. Care homes traditionally use a high amount of electricity, especially when it comes to heating and lights. As legislation moves with the times too, to incentivise renewable energy initiatives, you will already be in position to benefit from grants and avoid having to make changes rapidly at a greater cost in order to comply with new green laws.

Using care home solar panels to inspire other green initiatives

Finally, the benefits that solar panels bring can often lead to other green living alterations to care homes’ operations. For example, saving water by installing eco showers and tap aerators and collecting rainwater. Switching to smart radiator valves, ventilation and heating controls and exterior lighting to save energy. Other areas include encouraging staff to use electric cars, or changing to electric or hybrid minibuses or coaches for daytrips. Other energy saving ideas inspired by care home solar panels could also include renewing or adding to insulation and plugging gaps under doors and around windows. You could also encourage staff and residents to recycle more by providing plenty of marked bins to help people work out where to put their rubbish.

Why your business should invest in commercial solar panels

Why your business should invest in commercial solar panels

Solar panels on houses and domestic properties are now commonplace. Numbers of people seeking to change to a more sustainable way of living are increasing every year. However, domestic life is not the only avenue towards trying to live a greener existence. Commercial solar panels are a great way to reduce energy bills, lower your business’s reliance on fossil fuels and show your customer base that you don’t just ‘talk the talk’ when it comes to choosing eco-friendly options for your energy sourcing. Here are five commonly asked questions about installing commercial solar panels.

Does my business need planning permission for commercial solar panels?

As a general rule, planning permission is not needed for businesses installing commercial solar panels. However, this may not be the case everywhere, so it is important to double check before committing to any orders or dates for starting work. Make sure you know any legal restrictions that may apply. These could include size, number and shape of panels, where they can be installed and at what angle. If you don’t own the building in which your business operates, you will need the landlord’s permission to carry out the installation. They may need to look into whether or not they are allowed to agree to the work under the terms of their mortgage or other lending company, as well as the local council or authorities.

What do I need to consider when choosing commercial solar panels?

There are several factors to think about, from cost to chosen specifications. An immediate question is whether your chosen surface is physically suitable to have commercial solar panels installed. Can it take their weight, will it get enough exposure to the sun and will it cause an eyesore for neighbours etc. Will the energy it produces really end up offsetting your current energy bills enough to justify the initial expense of the solar panels? Who should you choose to install the panels? Always do your research to find a reputable company. Decent companies should have a history of good reviews, non-pushy sales techniques and a reputation for excellent customer service.

How do commercial solar panels work?

The system works by converting energy from the sun into useable electricity. This is done via photovoltaic cells that are arranged into panels and installed on flat surfaces with exposure to the sun. Solar energy is converted into DC electricity that then flows into an inverted that changes it to an AC current. This can then be fed into the property and used to power lights, heat, appliances etc., just like electricity from conventional sources. Any surplus energy generated from commercial solar panels can be stored in a battery for use when conditions are darker. This can be during cloudy weather conditions or at night. Or it can be sold back to the National Grid to offset the installation costs.

What benefits will commercial solar panels bring to my business?

The financial benefits are clear – reductions in bills from conventional energy sources to help with overheads, potential to sell surplus electricity back to the National Grid, as well as eligibility for grants to help support sustainable changes to businesses. However, having commercial solar panels also helps motivate and retain employees with a desire to work for eco-conscious companies. This can also help companies strengthen relationships with customers and industry peers. Commercial solar panels can also play a large part in helping you move closer to your stated goals to achieve net zero carbon emissions, gain energy independence and help combat the effects of climate change.

How much will commercial solar panels cost?

The answer to this question really does depend on the size and type of panels being considered. There may also be additional costs associated with checking the property is suitable for their installation, or in upgrading or expanding on existing photovoltaic systems. There may be grants and loans available to help with initial installation costs. If your business can sustain the initial outlay, it can read large rewards over the longer term, as energy costs reduce. Many installation companies include an element of after-sales support and annual maintenance in their quote, and/or offer competitive rates for regular servicing contracts and repair work.