We’ve recently done some modelling of the performance of solar tracking systems, but this can only tell you so much. What about how one would perform in the real world? Luckily we can answer that by looking at a solar tracker that we installed a few years ago...
Is it possible to get free solar panels for businesses? A lot has changed since solar first started gaining popularity, with prices falling around 50% in the last decade and many of the initial subsidies like the Feed-in Tariff closed to new applicants. But there are still opportunities for companies to benefit from financed solar systems, the most promising of which are Solar PPAs.
We hear more and more about Blockchain technology. The technology creates a transparent public ledger that records series of transactions, facilitating a fast, low-cost, trusted transfer of value without the involvement of traditional intermediaries.
Already used in the financial sector, it’s only a matter of time before Blockchain hits the energy sector in a major way, particularly with the explosion of micro-generation of electricity, the ending of solar subsidies, and the advent of smart meters.
With Octopus Energy claiming to have paid customers to use excess electricity at night on four occasions in the last 12 months, real time peer-to-peer trading of electricity is surely just around the corner. Other potential applications include authentication of renewable generation and trading of emissions permits.
On 9th July, the government launched its “Road to Zero Strategy” to lead the world in zero emission vehicle technology.
Not to be confused with any other ‘Road to Zero’ or ‘Round in Circle’ government strategies, this one is all about ensuring at least 50% of cars are ultra-low emission by 2030, and ensuring that the infrastructure is in place to support this.
If you’re in charge of a ‘workplace’, the good news is that on the back of Road to Zero, the Workplace Charging Scheme will now contribute 75% of purchase and installation costs (up to a maximum of £500) towards the cost of each charging socket installed.
The grant is available for to 20 chargepoints per applicant, across all sites.
In other words, up to £10,000 per business.
Are you responsible for a commercial property or a commercial / residential property portfolio? Or are you an architect, specifier, commercial end user, engineer, contractor or consultant seeking to learn more about solar PV or battery storage?
If so you many be interested in our FREE CPD accredited training courses.
Upgrading to LED lighting typically halves your lighting bill.
If you install lighting controls at the same time (occupancy sensors etc), you can reduce running costs by around 70%, particularly if half your office is empty, but all your lights are on.
Spirit Energy has this week launched an online LED Lighting Calculator to enable you to see very quickly how much energy, and money, you could save, and how long it would take a lighting upgrade to pay for itself.
Online LED Calculator
Where are the easy wins for your organisation?
By 2020, a business with 100 employees can expect to have 10 employees with an electric car.
Time flies, and guess what, 2020 is only 22 months away...... No surprise then that many businesses are making their first foray into the world of electric car chargers to give their customers, staff and fleet the necessary EV charging infrastructure.
As they do so, they are realising that EV charging not only represents an opportunity to make their business a better place to work for employees and boost their CSR credentials, it also provides a potential new revenue stream, albeit a modest one unless installed at scale (click here for a brief summary of the business case).
The question is, if you want to install EV chargers at work, what functionality should you look for, and which brand should you choose?
Topics: EV charging
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)
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: Solar PV
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.