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.