Every day, more and more homes across Australia are going solar. The question is not why, but why not? The appeal of green energy and significant cost savings make installing solar panels a wise act of both environmental and financial stewardship for 1 in 5 homeowners in the country.
But does a solar panel system also make sense for commercial businesses?
Although slower to the shift than the residential market, small businesses across the country are beginning to benefit from installing commercial solar panels.
The Benefits of Commercial Solar Systems
At their best, commercial solar systems can:
- Save commercial property owners between 75 to 89 percent off their monthly electricity bill. After the system is paid off, which takes an average of three years, owners can enjoy free energy for the system’s 25- to 35-year useful life.
- Be significantly paid off by sizable rebates and other renewable energy incentives. The Australian government offers robust incentives that reduce the cost that a business pays for its solar system. The federal Small Scale Technology Certificates (STC) rebates pay owners approximately $550 per kW of solar installed. This means, for instance, that a 30-kilowatt (kW) system costing $30,000 can receive a rebate of $16,500 at the point of sale!
And depending on where you live, you can also qualify for other state, local, and performance-based incentives.
- Reduce the businesses’ carbon footprint and harmful greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. As climate change becomes increasingly harder to ignore, it’s important for businesses to actively monitor and reduce harmful GHG emissions released through human activity. Solar panels draw energy during the daytime when most businesses operate withoutproducing hazardous emissions.
- Lock in a consistent rate for energy, free of rate fluctuations that utility bills are subject to. Businesses with solar panels are not manipulated by price volatilities and inflation, allowing them to budget for the future with more certainty.
- Enhance a business’s public image and employee satisfaction for practicing sustainability. Customers and employees alike are increasingly looking to work with “green” companies that put environmental awareness at the center of their work.
Now that the advantages of commercial solar are on the table, is your business the right fit? Are you eligible for these boons and are the upfront costs manageable?
Determining if Your Business Should Go Solar
The deciding factors for commercial solar are going to be the size of the system your business requires and how much you are prepared to invest.
What Size System Do I Need?
Think about the type of business you run and how much energy it takes to run in.
Are you a printing company whose large-scale equipment runs continuously to produce goods? Or do you own a medical clinic or a marketing firm that just has basic electricity needs?
Do you operate during the day, night, or around the clock? For how many of your business hours do you require electricity? Do you work weekends or just during the week? Are there months out of the year during which you use an untypical amount of electricity?
Since solar’s advantage is in off-setting daytime electricity consumption, businesses that operate more hours during the day than at night are likely to observe the most cost savings. Most small businesses use between 30kW to 99kW of power, which is the sweet spot for getting the most out of federal rebates.
Although rebates such as Large Scale Generation Certificates (LGC) are available for systems that are 100kW and over, they are less attractive than STC rebates since businesses must accurately track, document, and report their consumption data to the government each year to reap any benefits, which are notably less than what’s offered for smaller systems.
To understand what size system your business needs, take a close look at your monthly and quarterly power bills and note any distinct consumption patterns that will help your electrician size your solar system. Also, make sure your business property’s roof has enough space to accommodate the number of solar panels you need, which, if your business requires a 99-kW system or less, will be under 100 panels.
How Much Can I Invest in Solar for My Business?
Thanks to incentives as well as the growing accessibility to solar, expenses to install a system of your own should no longer break the bank. But, to get an understanding of the investment you’ll be making, take a look at these ranges of prices you can expect to pay for variously sized commercial solar panel installations of reliable quality:
- 10 kW: $9,500 to $14,500.
- 30 kW: $27,000 to $34,000.
- 50 kW: $50,000 to $58,000.
- 70 kW: $69,000 to $78,000.
- 1000 kW: $94,000 to $97,000.
Be sure to calculate all tax credits and rebates that apply at the point of sale to figure out the actual cost of what you’ll pay and whether it makes financial sense for you. The anticipated return on these investments falls between three to five years, sometimes even less depending on the type of system you install.
Keep in mind that solar can be feasible for any sized business: Even if you’re a very small business owner, investing in commercial solar can be a strategic decision that will help you realise robust financial returns and increase the value of your business.
How Do I Install Solar for My Business?
There’s no better time than now to go solar!
Why? Because the value of STCs won’t last forever. As more and more businesses and homes install solar panels and the supply for STCs grows, the prices of each STC decreases as does the subsidy. To beat the supply and demand game ahead of the curve, it’s important to act sooner than later.
Faraday Group is here to help you take the leap on solar with reliability, transparency, and ease. As experienced and certified level 2 electricians, we will help you calculate the size of system your business requires and its cost with our solar calculator, determine the rebates you qualify for, and install a low-maintenance and dependable system that keeps giving back to your business, your customers, and the environment.
Contact us today to see how much your business can save!