4 reasons to solar power your business

Running a business is a 24/7 labour of love. Success is hard won, so it’s easy to see why business owners are on the look-out for any way to improve the bottom line. Solar may just be that edge.

Written by Claire Spencer

Over the past 4 years, we’ve seen the price of solar systems drop by up to 13%, and new technological advancements for solar battery storage have overhauled the industry at a rapid rate.

In the past, solar systems were considered prohibitively expensive for home owners and businesses alike. While government based incentives such as solar rebates and solar tariffs have been in place to help off-set the investment, some have either been reduced or discontinued entirely for new solar customers, reflecting the changing industry.

So what does this mean for the average business owner?

Solar is now increasingly affordable

Prices continue to drop for solar systems, with the biggest reductions being in rooftop Solar Photovoltaic (PV) systems.

There are a range of solutions for businesses large and small. The smallest business sized solar PV systems range from 1.5 to 10 kW[HD1] . A 10 kW PV system will comprise of approximately 40 panels and will generate approximately 40 Kwh’s per day. That’s enough to run approximately 2 Australian households per day. The cost for a 10kW Solar PV commercial system currently averages at approximately $13,000. Whereas in 2015, the same sized system cost over $15,000 .

When you look at the larger sized commercial PV installations of 100 kW in2017, they averaged at $111,500 compared to an average of $150,708 only three years ago. This is great news for small, medium and large businesses wanting to go solar.

As the scale of the product goes up, the size of the saving also increases for buying a system outright. If you’re looking to install a larger commercial solar system, then you could also benefit from the financial incentives offered by the Large-Scale Renewable Energy Target and large-scale generation certificates (LGCs).

The incentives apply to any solar system greater than 100kWs, and the amount of LGCs you generate will depend on the capacity of your system and the location of its installation. Small businesses can also benefit. Those who opt to purchase a system outright, may be eligible for accelerated depreciation [SJ3] for systems costing less than $20,000.

Comparison of cost for Commercial solar systems *

  Jan 2015 Nov 2017 Jan 2015 Nov 2017 Jan 2015 Nov 2017
  10kW 10kW 30kW 30kW 50kW 50kW
Adelaide $14,060 $12,710 $38,442 $36,060 $78,778 $57,770
Brisbane $14,719 $12,920 $43,837 $38,910 $76,250 $61,480
Sydney $13,475 $11,840 $42,093 $34,240 $71,985 $55,390
Melbourne $15,989 $14,350 $42,236 $37,100 $71,956 $61,610

Pay $0 upfront for your Solar System

Solar installations should be easy and accessible. New product offerings such as Origin’s Solar Flex are enabling businesses to invest in solar with $0 upfront cost. This means you can reduce your operating costs without the capital investment in a solar system. So how does it work? The Solar Flex offering provides a low cost electricity rate for any energy you produce during the day from solar power.

Different businesses can save various amounts, depending on a range of factors, such as daytime electricity needs, existing electricity rates, roof space and the size of the solar system installed.

One extra benefit of Solar Flex is that large-scale generation certificates (LGC) risks are taken into account and then factored into the solar electricity price, leaving business owners to focus on what they know best, the running of their business.

To give you an idea of the potential benefits, we took a look at how two particular businesses are saving on electricity costs with Origin’s Solar Flex.

Solar storage is coming to help reduce your electricity bill

While still in it’s infancy, commercial-scale battery storage is set to change the Australian energy markets in the same way as it has done in the U.S. Businesses investing in large-scale solar battery storage will reap the benefits of being able to draw down on surplus energy in peak times rather than having to go to the grid for usage. Other benefits include:

·           Ensuring supply adequacy

·           Resiliency and power backup

·           Reduction of peak demand charges

·           Shift energy consumption profiles

·           Participate in energy grid markets where available

All these benefits in turn help to reduce overall electricity costs for your business. Whether you’re running a manufacturing, agricultural or retail business, solar can be a great way of reducing your energy costs.

Reduce your carbon emissions and help the environment

We’re really proud of our role in helping businesses to go solar. Just last year alone our solar businesses helped reduce carbon emissions equivalent to:

Check out how we’re helping businesses of all shapes and sizes, from a range of industries, and make the switch to solar. We’re here to answer your questions 8am to 5pm, Monday to Friday — so get in touch with us on 1300 791 468.

IMAGE FOOTNOTE: Our Solar Flex business customers across Australia have collectively generated more than 6,794,092 KWh of electricity between January 2016 & November 2017 – reducing carbon emissions by 5490 tonnes (1). Which is equivalent to the above.

(1)   Reduced carbon emissions calculated using the National Greenhouse Accounts Factor for Grid Electricity Emissions  (July 2017)

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