Following on from our previous blog detailing Carbon Trust's Green Business Fund, we have recently become aware of other (EU-funded) free handouts for SME's looking to enhance their green credentials AND reduce their bills!
According to Solar Power Portal, the latest EEVS Insight report has found that demand for solar PV among corporates remains above average, despite Brexit uncertainty impacting the wider energy efficiency sector.
This comes as no surprise to us, because we frequently see companies able to achieve a 12-20% IRR (internal rate of return) from solar PV, over the 25 year expected life of the system.
And solar PV provides a very visual statement of an organisation's green credentials. It is a technology well liked by the public and thus appealing to employees, shareholders, customers and suppliers.
Furthermore, if your organisation fits the criteria for a Solar PPA (Solar Power Purchase Agreement), you can benefit from having solar on site without paying for the system yourself.
What is a Solar PPA?
Read on to find out more, or download our brand new (and free) Guide to Solar PPAs:
Guide to Solar PPAs
(Power Purchase Agreements)
Topics: Solar PPAs
Driving around business parks and industrial estates (as I do..), I am frequently struck by how many flat roofed industrial buildings there are, and how few of them have solar panels on them.
Flat roof solar tends to cost slightly more than sloping roof solar, but it's still worth doing - payback times of 7-9 years are typical, versus an expected life of 20-30 years.
In simple terms the lifetime cost per kWh generated is around 4.5p. With the Feed-in Tariff subsidy that falls to around 3p per kWh!
You really should want one...
3p per kWh is pretty amazing, particularly when compared to a grid cost of 10-15p per kWh and rising. So if your premises has a flat roof, don't dismiss it. Call us and we'll assess the viability of the installation for you.
In the mean time, here are a few key things to be aware of, including the optimal panel slope, the optimal orientation, fixing type, ballast, and roof warranties.
Topics: Flat roof solar
Emergency lighting needs to be checked every month. Any repairs or remedial work must be carried out within a reasonable time and all changes must be recorded.
Anecdotal evidence suggests that a significant proportion of organisations do not regularly test and maintain their emergency lighting.
This is partly because standards have changed (BS 5266 was updated in 2016) and the relevant people may be behind the times. But it’s also because testing emergency lighting every month (and annually for a three hour test) is rather laborious and labour intensive, and therefore expensive.
The fines for non-compliance are even more expensive.
Installing the right test mechanism to make compliance easy is fundamental.
Topics: Emergency lighting compliance
Is your business is a high electricity user? If so you could benefit from funded battery storage, enabling you to reduce your electricity bill by avoiding peak time electricity surcharges (TRIAD charges and Red Band DUOS charges).
Topics: Funded commercial energy storage
If your mains lighting failed what would you do? Evacuate? Stay put? Use the daylight coming through the skylights or the windows to keep working?
Many organisations have emergency lighting, but it's amazing how few employees/occupants know what the drill is if the lights fail. A fire alarm going off sends a recognisable message to get out. In contrast, without a clearly communicated policy, normal lighting failing and emergency lighting coming on is more likely to spread confusion, particularly in an environment where carrying on 'normally' is possible without the mains electricity working.
Furthermore, we see quite a few buildings in which the emergency lighting and / or signage hasn't been brought up to regulations - primarily the 2016 updated standard BS 5266.
Does your business comply with the following? If not you’re at risk of prosecution:
Topics: Emergency lighting compliance
As a rule of thumb, with the decline in Feed-in Tariffs and the advent of battery storage, a grid-connected commercial solar system is best sized with an annual output (kWh) approximately equal to the annual load of the business / property.
So if your load is 36,000kWh a year, and a kWp outputs 900kWh a year, size the system at 40 kWp.
What if your roof is too small to achieve this with standard panels? Which panel do you turn to?
Spirit’s warehouse adjoins the warehouse of Primrose, the online gardening retailer. Our unit is full of solar panels, inverters, batteries, LED lights and exciting things like that. Their unit is full of garden furniture, water features, awnings, wind spinners and all of the exciting things available at www.primrose.co.uk.
Earlier this year we were called in to upgrade the metal halide lights to LED.
Did you know that the Green Business Fund will provide a non-refundable capital contribution of 15% of project costs, up to £5,000 towards the cost of energy efficiency measures such as LED lighting upgrades and solar PV?