The costs of solar systems have dramatically reduced in recent years, particularly commercial systems. Combine that reduced cost with the ever rising cost of electricity and the business case for solar makes more sense than ever.
There is a common misconception that solar power is only viable when there is a feed-in tariff available. In actual fact, a well sized system can pay for itself in as little as three years, even in the absence of a feed-in tariff.
There are a number of factors that will determine the payback period of a commercial solar system. The main factors are:
Roof orientation and pitch certainly do play a part in the annual production of a system, it is not a major factor and many roofs in Australia will be suitable for solar.
Systems installed in Australia will produce more than most places on Earth. The graph below shows the annual production of a solar system per kilowatt for various cities worldwide; Australian cities are amongst the highest.
The components used in a solar system will also determine how much electricity it will produce, particularly in later years. Solar is a long term investment so it is imperative to choose quality products that can stand the test of time. Our Choosing a Commercial Installer section will help prepare and educate you to thoroughly discuss your business’ solar requirements with any potential installer.
When solar electricity produced is consumed on-site it will displace electricity purchased from the grid, with the subsequent savings being dependent on the electricity tariff of the business. A business whose electricity use profile aligns with the production of a solar system (i.e. consuming electricity while the sun is shining) is likely to see significant savings.
A utilised unit of solar energy is much more valuable than an exported unit (exported units often have no value). Thus the payback of a solar system is dependent on how much of the solar production is used on site – the utilisation rate. It is important to consider this when sizing a system, too large a system could result in a low utilisation rate and longer project returns. Any professional, experienced commercial solar provider will be able to help you assess what is the right sized system for your business.
There are certainly many variables to consider before purchasing a solar system for your business, the end goal is a well designed system that will result in significant reductions in your business’ electricity bills, thereby safeguarding against future electricity price rises and will provide an excellent return on investment.
Solar Market appreciates that choosing to invest in a commercial system is a big decision. We can put you in touch with three professional, accredited Solar Power Companies that specialise in providing solar power for business (at no cost to you). They can each provide you with a customised quotation, outlining the capital outlays and investment returns on a Commercial Solar Power System.