Embracing commercial solar energy is no different. Here are five questions to ask if you’re currently researching your commercial solar options.
1. Can Solar Energy Benefit My Cash Flow?
If you’re still on the fence about whether a solar system is the right financial decision for your business, consider its potential benefits to your cash flow.
Not only can a 100kW solar system save up to $25,000 per year compared to grid-supplied electricity, small to large-scale systems across the board are generating enough savings to drive sub-five year paybacks or cash flow positive finance positions from the first year.
By reducing your dependence on traditional electricity, your business can also free itself from constant electricity price rises and seasonal uncertainty; allowing you to plan and grow with confidence.
2. What Size Solar System Do I Need?
It’s important that you avoid jumping headfirst into solar energy without an accurate understanding of what size system you require, and whether your consumption is likely to grow in the future. To get the most value for your money, you should aim to consume all of the power that your solar system generates, which will save you from exporting excess power to the grid.
A common way to calculate how much solar energy your business will need is to average your minimum daily load over seven days. This table gives a rough guide to calculating your solar system size based on your annual commercial energy costs:
3. Should I Consider a Solar Power Purchase Agreement (PPA)?
A solar Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) is a financing model where businesses only purchase the power that a solar system produces, instead of owning, maintaining and operating the system itself.
From reducing upfront costs and operational risk to improving cash flow and ongoing energy costs, PPAs can be a worthwhile solution for all kinds of businesses, especially those without the physical space for an on-site solar system.
4. What Kind of Solar System Suits My Business?
There’s no ideal one-size-fits-all solar system that will work optimally for all businesses. Getting the most out of your commercial solar system requires careful consideration of your real estate and some creative thinking to take advantage of your physical space.
Rooftop solar systems are safe to install, easy to maintain and cause minimal disturbance to business operations during fitting, which makes them some of the most common solar PV systems in Australia.
However, your business may be able to take advantage of alternatives like ground mount systems, solar car shades and even building integrated systems, which incorporate solar into the building structure such as a replacement roof.
5. What Are My Competitors Doing?
As more and more Australian businesses recognise how solar energy can improve cash flow, boost employee retention, present tax opportunities and please shareholders, it’s important that your business isn’t left behind.
If you’re still unconvinced that renewable energy should be a key strategic goal for your organisation, take stock of what your competitors are pursuing. There’s a reason that some of the biggest and most progressive companies in the world share a common passion for sustainable energy.