These are challenging times for businesses, with rising energy supplier costs impacting buyer demand and operational costs. While many companies are keen to switch to more environmentally friendly procedures, the need to lower costs without compromising on the quality of service or output is the most critical thing for most businesses.
At Skylamp Solar, we have helped many businesses evaluate their energy requirements and find more viable solutions. We know there is a clamour for grants to implement greener energy solutions, and there is a wide range of leasing, funding, finance and loan options to consider.
This article takes you through energy costs in 2023 and beyond, lists how to lower the cost of installing new energy points, and even makes money by selling unused energy. Read on to support your business with the best platform for success regarding energy bill savings.
Solar panel grants by local authorities and the Government help businesses pay for the installation of solar panels. These grants can lower the upfront cost of going solar and incentivise those interested in generating energy in a more responsible manner.
In determining the impact of grants or funding support for businesses investing in solar panels, it is necessary to decide on the cost of solar panels for businesses. Self-funding is the preferred option for organisations, but this might be out of reach for many entities.
In the UK, it is common for small to medium-sized firms to face an outlay of between £9,500 and £51,000 for commercial solar panels.
A system size of around 10 kW costs an average of £14,000, a system size of 20 kW costs around £25,000; and for a system size of 40 kW, the average cost is £50,000.
When you require a system size of 50 kW, the average cost rises to £62,000, and the average price of a 60 kW system is £75,000. This represents a significant sum, which makes funding or grants necessary for most businesses to afford solar panel prices.
As of 2023, the UK Government doesn’t provide solar power grants in the UK for commercial solar panels. The realisation there are no government grants in the UK or a viable government scheme is a bone of contention with small business owners.
When you consider the kilowatt hour cost of electricity for many businesses, there is growing demand for more help, even if there is limited eligibility criteria in which businesses receive support.
There is also increased focus on electricity supplier companies and energy suppliers at the moment, albeit there is greater demand for them to support low income households than businesses.
One option worth considering is the Smart Export Guarantee SEG scheme, which allows businesses (as well as domestic users) to sell unused solar generated electricity back to the national grid for use by energy suppliers. To be eligible for this scheme, you must have a smart meter to measure the power you export to the national grid.
The Energy Saving Trust offer a Solar Energy calculator on its website, which allows you to determine the payment you’d likely receive through the Smart Export Guarantee scheme. This will help you determine if the initial investment on energy saving materials is worth your while.
The 50% First Year Allowance (FYA) is available until 31st March 2023. A business that invests in applicable plant and machinery assets, which includes solar panels, will only pay corporation tax on the operational profits less 50% of the panel investment value.
While a business has to pay the full cost upfront, it is a way to reduce the overall expenditure, and the reduced level of energy bills provides a saving when matched with the tax saving.
Regarding finance, there is also a Power Purchase Agreement, or PPA, which is an effective way to lower the costs of solar panels. If a business or school satisfies the roof space and energy usage criteria, they might be entitled to a free solar PV installation, with the cost met by a PPA provider.
The unused electrical energy generated by solar panels is sold back to the organisation at a rate notably lower than current energy prices. This system removes the up-front cost of solar panels while lowering the ongoing energy bill costs.
There are also leasing opportunities for UK businesses and organisations looking to generate their own clean energy. In this case, a provider purchases solar panel equipment; the business leases it at a fixed monthly price. However, this monthly payment is lower than the electricity cost, creating a monthly saving.S
Eligible businesses may include small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), third-sector organisations, housing associations, local authorities and private companies.
The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) and the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) offer guidance on funding for solar installations and energy saving materials. The Energy Saving Trust also provides funding for solar installations through interest-free loans, as well as offering guidance on dealing with energy companies.
Farming is one of the most traditional industries in the UK, but agriculture is far from your typical business or business setting. However, this doesn’t mean a farm cannot use solar grants like any other business.
Farms use electricity, and barns and warehouses have plenty of suitable roof space to install solar panels. Depending on the layout of the land and the nature of farming for the business, there might even be an opportunity for farms to install solar power panels at the ground or close to ground level.
This grant is intended to assist farms with one, some or all of the following aspects:
The introduction of a solar panel installation at a farm helps achieve several of these outcomes, including reducing carbon emissions, so there is an argument that the FETF grant applies to solar panels. The 2023 scheme has an April 2023 deadline, but the scheme should be available again in 2024 if this deadline has passed.
An essential feature for farms to consider is local authority grants or funding, which might be applicable. An example is the West of England Green Business Grant. This grant provides small to medium-sized firms a cash-back assistance of between £1,000 and £15,000.
This money should cover up to 40% of the reasonable costs associated with energy efficient improvements, which include installing solar panels for their business.
With considerable roof space, and a desire to educate children about the importance of sustainable and renewable energy, it is easy to see why schools and educational bodies are interested in solar panels.
The cost of education is a significant matter, so anything which offsets energy bills in these buildings is crucial, and the range of grants and funding associated with businesses are available to schools in the UK.
Offices and factories have the same access to business funding and support as stated above, and again; this is a valuable way to save money while supporting renewable energy sources.
The ownership issue arises with property and solar panels, and businesses renting office space will have fewer options to consider than those who own property.
Related post: Solar panel grants for homes
The amount of money that UK businesses can save through solar grants and funding will depend on the specific grant program and the business size. Generally speaking, however, businesses can save money through grants that cover the installation costs of solar panels and other renewable energy systems, as well as grants that provide tax credits or other incentives.
Depending on the size of the business, install costs and other factors; businesses can save anywhere from tens of thousands to hundreds of thousands of pounds through energy saving measures, and the funding they obtain.
While already mentioned, the Smart export guarantee is a good way to reduce energy costs over time, and is a valid argument for investing in solar panels at your commercial premises.
If you run a business and you are contemplating whether solar panels are worth considering or if a grant is an excellent way to justify installing a solar panel system, please consider the following benefits of doing so:
Reduction in energy bills and long-term cost savings: Installing solar panels can significantly reduce electricity bills, leading to long-term cost savings. Solar energy is free, meaning businesses no longer have to pay for electricity generated from fossil fuels.
In addition, companies may be eligible to receive rebates or tax credits for installing solar PV panels.
Positive impact on the environment and company reputation: Solar energy does not produce harmful emissions, meaning it is a clean and renewable energy source.
This positively impacts the environment and can also be used as a marketing tool to showcase the company’s commitment to sustainability.
Improved energy efficiency and reduced carbon footprint: A solar panel system is an efficient way to generate electricity and require minimal maintenance. This leads to improved efficiency and a reduced carbon footprint, which can help businesses meet their sustainability goals.
Government incentives for businesses that use renewable energy: Many governments offer incentives for companies that use renewable energy sources. These can include tax credits, grants, or loans. This can help companies to offset the cost of installing solar PV panels and allow them to take advantage of long-term cost savings.
1. Research available funding: Small businesses should research the various options available and find out if they meet the criteria for funding, especially when it comes to upfront costs.
2. Prepare an application: Businesses should prepare an application that outlines the company’s plans for installing solar power panels, how it will benefit the business and the community, and any other relevant information.
3. Submit the application: Businesses should submit their application to the appropriate government agency or private foundation.
4. Wait for a response: After submitting their application, businesses should wait for a response from the agency or foundation.
5. Follow up: Businesses should follow up with the agency or foundation to ensure that their application has been received and is being reviewed.
A list of documents which will support any grant application of a UK business include:
By having these documents to hand, and in good order, it enhances a company’s likelihood of success with their grant application.
A solar panel grant and support is available to businesses that still need to install solar power panels. Companies that have already installed solar panels may benefit from the SEG.
Yes, UK businesses can install panels on leased properties, so long as the landlord has given permission. Ensuring that the correct permissions are in place before installation is vital, as failure could lead to legal action against the business.
Yes, businesses with leased properties can apply for financial support in the UK. Companies with leased properties can apply for these subsidies and incentives, subject to eligibility criteria.
Suppose a UK business moves location after receiving solar power support. The grant will remain valid if the project concludes according to the original requirements. The business must contact the grant provider to inform them of the change of address and any other relevant details.
The provider may require further paperwork to ensure the satisfaction of all grant and finance conditions.
In some circumstances, yes. As detailed above, with some PPA grants, small businesses can obtain a free solar panel. In general, though, free solar panels are not available, certainly not to the extent they were in 2010 when this was a more common incentive amongst the available grant schemes in the United Kingdom.
Commercial firms, like households, face significant energy bills, and it is vital to reduce this financial impact. While many medium and small business organisations appreciate the chance to reduce carbon emissions, most want to increase efficiency to better manage rising electricity prices.
This is why investing in new solar panels is suitable if it provides short and long-term benefits to companies, and this is why Skylamp Solar is here to advise you how to buy solar panels or invest in solar panel installation work.