Top 5 reasons to install solar panels on your commercial property - thumbnail image

Top 5 reasons to install solar panels on your commercial property

Installing solar panels at a commercial property can help to accomplish a raft of business aims. Whether your sights are set on lowering costs, increasing property value, improving your environmental, social, and corporate (ESG) credentials, or taking advantage of grants to improve margins, solar panels have a lot to offer. In this blog, we’ll explore their biggest benefits.

When it comes to solar power, the UK’s two million commercial buildings represent an area of latent potential. It’s a topic so salient, the Solar Taskforce – set up to help the government’s meet its target of increasing solar capacity by nearly fivefold by 2035 – spent much of its inaugural meeting discussing it. But what’s in it for the businesses whose sites are being speculated on? Let’s get into it!

  1. Solar energy allows you to take control of a significant operating cost

Chris Hewitt, co-chair of the aforementioned Taskforce, and chief executive of Solar Energy UK described installing rooftop solar power as “one of the best investments available, offering dramatic savings on energy bills and the opportunity to be paid for sending excess power to the grid”. We’ll get to the second part of this in point two, but for now, let’s focus on the ability to reign in energy bills. For many businesses, this is a huge area of expenditure. Solar panels put rooftop space (which, let’s face it, isn’t being used for anything else) to good use, generating energy from a free source and removing the need to purchase peak-time electricity from the grid, not to mention shielding companies from future electricity price fluctuations. Having this control over such a large operating cost is a boon to most businesses.

  1. Solar energy can make a positive difference to your company’s bottom line

Reduced reliance on expensive gas and gas-fired electricity is one of the most obvious ways solar energy can make a positive impact on your bottom line. The ability to make money by selling excess energy back to the grid through the Smart Export Guarantee (SEG) is another. The SEG is aimed at smaller installations, meaning your renewable electricity system must be under 5MW, and you’ll need a smart meter to take half hourly readings, but it works for those businesses simply looking to open up an extra revenue stream.

  1. Solar energy reduces your carbon footprint and improves your ESG credentials

Unlike fossil fuels, renewable energy from solar produces no harmful emissions, allowing companies to shrink their carbon footprint. Most, if not all, successful companies have considered their corporate social responsibility (CSR) and created a strategy to help them create positive social and environmental change, which appeals to customers and partners alike. Businesses are increasingly implementing mandatory sustainable supply chain criteria as part of their own ESG structure. Becoming part of their supply chain will depend on how seriously you take sustainability. By reducing your carbon footprint by using renewable energy, your company is boosting its green credentials and making itself more attractive to businesses with a socially conscious decision-making structure.

  1. Solar energy can increase the value of commercial property

When it comes to increasing property value, having solar panels installed is a great selling point. Plus, as the owners of commercial properties will know, non-domestic minimum expected energy standards (MEES) mean that all non-domestic private rented properties will have to have an EPC level of at least level B by 2030, with an EPC level C rating required by 2027.

Solar panels present a great opportunity to improve buildings’ energy efficiency and, thus, its EPC rating. Furthermore, for buildings with space to let, they also create a competitive advantage, as they make those spaces cheaper to heat, thus reducing running costs.

  1. Solar energy can unlock financial incentives

There are a couple of financial incentives for businesses looking to invest in solar energy. Under the annual investment allowance, businesses can offset up to £100,000 of their solar investment in tax. Plus, under full expensing, the full cost of certain capital investments can be deducted in the year they are made. Full expensing is available for companies on qualifying new plant and machinery purchases from 1 April 2023 until 31 March 2026 and, under these rules, there is a 50% first-year allowance for integral features such as solar panels.

With the right knowledge and the project partners, commercial solar is the key to a huge range of business benefits. At Thrift Energy, we install solar PV systems for both domestic and commercial sites and can help you help you access financing and check for any regional grants that may be available to help you with part or all of the cost of your solar solution.

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