Solar For Your Business
Once upon a time solar was a great idea for the environment, but perhaps not a great idea for your bottom line. But as solar prices have decreased, solar technology has improved and solar batteries have started to redefine the market – there has never been a better time to reconsider what solar could do for your company. For a relatively small investment, you could halve your business’s energy bill or even completely remove your need for grid electricity. With continued government incentives keeping solar costs low, it is time for you to find out why solar makes business cents (and dollars!).
Why Switch To Solar?
Most of us treat electricity as a necessary and unavoidable business expense – but it doesn’t have to be. Admittedly, spending thousands of dollars on a solar system may not immediately sound easier or cheaper then simply paying your electricity bill, but when was the last time you actually checked how much electricity was costing you?
By installing solar on your commercial building, you will be able to offset your electricity consumption and hedge against future price rises of grid electricity. Like all assets, solar requires up-front capital costs, but payback periods are relatively short and typically only take a couple of years – at which point you can enjoy the full benefits of your solar power with significantly reduced operational expenses. Some businesses are even eligible for a feed-in tariff, meaning even more savings for your bottom line.
Brisbane has one of the highest rates of electricity price increases in Australia, where between 2003 – 2013 our electricity price rose on average by 74% each year.
How Much Does It Cost?
Quoting for solar can be complicated and often requires a visual inspection of the property. This table from Solar Choice provides you with indicative pricing in Australia.
What these prices don’t include is all of the other variables that need to be taken into consideration before arriving at an accurate quote – which is why it is essential to use an experienced installer who knows what they are looking for. You can easily start attracting additional fees if your solar company hasn’t taken into consideration how complex the installation is – on the other hand, an experienced installer can also help you save on costs while giving you a system perfect for your needs.
How Much Energy Does Solar Produce?
Cities like Brisbane and the Gold Coast are some of the best locations in Australia (and the world!) for harvesting energy from the sun because we simply receive more solar radiation – as per this map from energyinformative.org.
However, the output of a solar system also depends on its efficiency, size and location of your roof. Commercial systems can range anywhere from 5 to 10 kilowatts (kW) up to a few megawatts (MW) – and the type of inverter and panels you have, not to mention the design of the installation itself, can effect the efficiency of those systems. For an accurate measurement of the power your system will generate, you will need to have an experienced professional provide you with your options and design a system for your particular property.
Factors that can effect your installation costs:
- Tall buildings (which require a scissor lift to load the solar panels on the roof)
- Type of roof material (tile, teracotta, tin etc.) and weight rating
- A steep roof pitch of more than 22 degrees
- Building orientation – if all of the panels don’t fit on the north roof more work is required
- Compatible meter box
- DC cable run length (length of cable from the solar panels to the meter box)
- AC cable run length (length of cable from the meter box to the solar inverter)
15kW Commercial Package
Purchase with a Membership Plan and you may be eligible for member discounts, extended warranties and more!
- SMA Sunny Tri-power 15kW
- CSUN 270W Tier One mono solar panels
- Full installation and standard warranties included
What To Look For When Getting a Quote
Be wary of companies that say you will never have an energy bill ever again after switching to solar. FALSE! Unless you are disconnected from the grid, you will ALWAYS have an energy bill – your utilities company will charge you to be connected to the grid, whether you are using power or not, and as long as you have a meter you will incur fees from your utility provider.
Ask questions and do your research. Check your installer has provided you with the make and model of the solar inverter(s) and solar panels they plan on installing. You can check if are approved for use in Australia by visiting this link to the Clean Energy Council website.
Be wary of company’s that sell you on how much money you will make from the feed-in tariff – systems that are more than 5 or 6kW are not automatically guaranteed a feed-in tariff. A special application has to be made to Energex, who decides if your property will be eligible or not – not your solar company.
Has your installer asked you about your energy usage requirements, what times of the day your business uses the most amount of energy, your energy bill and the type of equipment you run? These are all extremely important questions for ascertaining the size and type of the system required. Make sure you are getting a system that is right for your needs: do you run a 30kW piece of equipment every day? Do you use most of your electricity during the day or at night (or both?). Ask your installer if they provide an installation warranty, which covers you for anything that goes wrong with your solar system due to an error made by the installer..
At Sun Gods Solar, we provide a 5 year installation warranty, and an additional 1 year warranty on roof leakage. You can read more about warranties here. Try and find a time to have your installer view your property – while Google Maps and Nearmaps do help when quoting, it is the mark of a good installer that they take the time to actually view your property and meet with you face to face. If they won’t, find someone who will.
Ready to make the switch? Call us today 07 5564 8094.