Is solar right for my business?
This is a question many key decision-makers in WA business ask when they’re considering solar panels. If you’ve been considering a commercial solar system, you might start by weighing the cost of solar against the potential benefits to your business.
You could save on your electricity costs
Every dollar you save in your business can make an impact on your bottom line. The amount you could save by installing a solar PV system depends on a number of factors, including:
- How much electricity you use in your business – and the time of day you use it
- How much direct sunlight your roof-space receives
- The size and type of solar panels and inverter you have
- Whether you choose to invest in battery power to use stored solar energy when the sun goes down
- Whether your business operations consume, or can adapt to consume, more electricity during peak solar production hours
Many businesses have seen considerable savings on their electricity costs over the long term by investing in solar. Speak with your solar supplier to find your projected savings, based on your consumption profile.
Financial factors affecting your payback period
|Peak vs off peak rates||If your business pays a higher rate for using electricity during peak times and a lower rate during off peak times, this could increase your payback period.|
|Fixed vs variable prices||If your electricity costs include a high proportion of charges that don’t change based on the amount you consume (such as fixed charges), your electricity costs might not be reduced by installing a solar system.|
|Minimum usage plans||If your electricity plan requires that you pay for a minimum amount of electricity regardless of whether you consume that amount, installing a solar system may not be permitted and is unlikely to reduce your electricity costs.|
|Network charges||Network charges cover the costs associated with transporting electricity to your premises. These charges may or may not change after installing a solar system.|
Commercial solar could help to reduce your environmental impact
Perth is one of the sunniest cities in the world. If you’re running a business in WA, it generally makes sense to put that sunshine to work for you.
Solar panels generate electricity using the sun’s energy, so using electricity when your system is producing solar energy means you’re drawing less electricity from the grid. You’ll still need to draw from the grid when the sun goes down or on days without much sun, but overall solar energy is a renewable form of energy that you can use to help power your business.
There could be tax advantages for your business
Each financial year, the Federal Government announces a dollar amount that businesses can write-off from the purchase of certain business assets. In some cases, you might be able to claim the entire cost of your solar system as a tax write-off.
Your solar supplier can help you find the right solar panels, inverter and perhaps even a battery system to match your business needs – and your registered tax agent can help you figure out how much you could be eligible to claim.
Your customers could support your commitment to solar
There could be potential marketing advantages to having your business powered by solar energy. Many customers are looking for ways to lower their environmental impact – so supporting a business which has invested in solar energy could be an easy decision for them.
You could share your solar story with your customers, suppliers and local community to show your genuine commitment to exploring more energy-efficient solutions.
Commercial solar might add value to your building
If you own the premises your business runs from, there’s a chance that adding solar panels could add to the value of your building. Future buyers might appreciate the convenience and eco-credentials of having solar panels already installed.
It could be possible to buy a solar system for a building you’re renting too. Always speak to your landlord first – the cost could be something to consider in negotiating your business lease term or the cost of your rent.
- What size of commercial solar system is best?
Choosing the right system size should be based on how much electricity your business uses during daylight hours and whether you have a battery. For maximum efficiency from your system, your business should use all of the energy the system generates, as this is generally more beneficial for your business than exporting excess electricity to the grid.
- Is solar right for every business?
Solar can be suitable for many businesses looking for a way to reduce their environmental impact or operating costs over the longer term – but solar installation isn’t always suitable for every business.
The best way to find out if commercial solar is right for your business is to discuss your needs with a solar supplier you can trust.
Here in WA, we recommend talking to the solar specialists at Solargain or Westsun.