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Navigating the realm of solar energy as a commercial tenant can feel like uncharted territory. However, armed with the right knowledge and approach, integrating solar power into your business operations becomes not only feasible but straightforward – not to mention advantageous from a cost and emission-reduction perspective 

In this article, we'll strip away the complexities and share over eleven years of experience working with landlords and tenants to help you embark on your solar journey with confidence. Whether you're aiming to cut costs, reduce your carbon footprint, or simply future-proof your business, let's explore how you can make solar power work for your commercial space, even if you don't own the property. 


Understanding Your Lease

First things first, take a close look at your lease agreement. Check for any clauses related to modifications or installations, especially regarding solar panels. Understanding what's allowed under your lease will set the stage for productive discussions with your landlord. 

Before proceeding with any installation, you’ll need to seek permission from your landlord via a formalised process called a Letter of Consent. You’ll also need to have an amendment made to your original lease via a Letter of Amendment, which spells out your responsibilities regarding rectification upon vacating the property. 


Communication is Key

Now, is the time to talk to your landlord. Approach them with confidence and clarity about your interest in solar energy. Highlight the potential benefits, like cost savings and environmental responsibility. Don't forget to mention that solar installations typically don't damage the roof, as they're mounted securely without penetrating the surface. It’s also worth pointing out that installing solar power typically increases the property's value and will also attract environmentally conscious tenants in the future. This conversation lays the groundwork for collaboration and agreement on moving forward. 


Exploring Financial Options

Money matters, so let's explore some financial models that make solar adoption feasible. 

  • Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs): With a PPA, you can enjoy solar power without the upfront costs. We install and maintain the panels and associated system, and you purchase the electricity generated at a competitive rate. This is a popular choice for leased properties, with over 90% of all Smart PPAs falling into this category. 
  • Virtual Net Metering: This setup lets you earn credits on your electricity bill for solar energy generated on-site. It's a win-win for saving money and supporting renewable energy. 
  • Government Incentives: Keep an eye out for government incentives like rebates or tax credits. These can significantly reduce your upfront investment and make solar energy more affordable. 


Collaborating with Your Landlord 

Working hand in hand with your landlord is crucial for success. Here's how to make it happen. 

  • Find Common Ground: Show your landlord the benefits of solar energy, like increased property value and reduced operating expenses. Finding common ground ensures a win-win scenario for both parties. 
  • Get It in Writing: Clear communication and documentation are key. Make sure agreements about solar ownership, maintenance, and financial responsibilities are clearly outlined and agreed upon in writing. 
  • Point Them in the Right Direction: You may want to share our Landlord FAQs with the owner of your rented premises. It contains answers to our most common questions from landlords over the years and is an invaluable resource. 


Exploring Community Support 

Sometimes, it takes a village to go solar. It’s a great idea to connect with tenant advocacy groups or community organisations focused on sustainability in your local area. They can provide valuable support and resources to help you navigate the solar journey. Also, keep an eye out for local programs supporting solar adoption. These initiatives often offer financial incentives and technical assistance to make going solar easier for commercial tenants. 

Summing up

Going solar as a commercial tenant is not only possible but also beneficial for your bottom line and the environment. By understanding your lease, exploring financial options, collaborating with your landlord, and tapping into community support, you can embark on your solar journey with confidence. So, let's harness the power of the sun and shine brighter together. 



Written by
Smart Team

The Smart Marketing Team

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