Are you trying to decide whether to invest in solar energy for your business? This article explores four benefits of solar power for Australian businesses, questions to ask to determine whether solar energy is the right choice for you, and how to make the most of commercial solar rebates.
Is Solar Power Right For My Business?
- Does your business use the vast majority of its electricity between 9am-5pm?
- Do you want to reduce your reliance on the grid and power your business at a fixed, predictable cost?
- Do you have enough roof space for the number of solar panels you will need to power your business?
If so, this makes your business an ideal fit for a commercial solar energy system.
Benefits of Solar Power For Business
Benefit #1: Solar Energy Cost Savings
How much does solar power save on electricity bills and how long will it take to recoup the cost of a solar investment? Solar energy is a key strategic decision that virtually guarantees a solid financial return for your business.
Australians pay among the highest electricity rates in the world. Installing a solar system is equivalent to prepaying for almost 40 years of energy at a fraction of the cost you would pay for electricity from the grid. An investment in solar energy can generate quick payback and long-term savings.
Solar energy allows you to significantly reduce, even eliminate your business’ electric bill. In fact, most businesses will recoup the cost of their solar investment in just a few short years.
The initial costs are also quite manageable. For most businesses, the initial cost per kW for solar power is well below the starting price of a fixed price electricity contract or the standard grid rate.
Commercial Solar: 30 kW (100 panels)
- Electricity generation per day: 120 kWh of electricity per day on average over a year
- Cost savings: $2000 per month if 100% self-consumed
- Time to recoup costs: It typically takes just 3-5 years for a 30kW solar system to pay for itself.
Commercial Solar: 100 kW
- Electricity generation per day: 350-440kWh per day on average over a year
- Cost savings: $20,000-$50,000 per annum
- Time to recoup costs: It takes just 3-5 years for a 100kW solar system to pay for itself.
Benefit #2: You Can Take Advantage of Commercial Solar Rebates
Many government incentives for solar power, combined with lower costs for solar panel technology, make solar a solid investment for Australian businesses. If you are considering solar power, it’s worthwhile to investigate the small business solar power grants and commercial solar rebates to make your investment even more cost-effective. You can find up-to-date information about these solar incentives on the Queensland Government website.
Small-Scale Technology Certificates (STCs)
STCs are part of the Australian government scheme to reward small businesses with a rebate for installing solar power. If you install solar panels or solar hot water system, you will receive an STC that you can give to your solar installer to redeem a significant discount on your solar system.
Queensland Solar Feed-in Tariffs
When your solar panels produce electricity that your business does not use, this power is transferred to the shared energy grid. For every kWh of electricity that your solar panels export, your energy distributor will rebate a few cents off your electricity bill.
In south-east Queensland, the flat-rate feed-in tariff is around 10c/kWh. In regional Queensland, the minimum flat-rate feed-in tariff is 9.369c/kWh.
Benefit #3: Solar Power Will Improve Your Green Reputation
Many modern consumers want to support socially responsible, environmentally aware, progressive and future-focused businesses that prioritise renewable energy. Solar power is a highly visible and measurable commitment to the environment and lowering CO2 pollution.
Using solar energy to generate electricity will reduce your business’ carbon footprint. Every kW of solar energy installed will reduce your business’ carbon footprint and decrease greenhouse gas emissions by more than 2 tonnes per annum.
Choosing solar energy can help you build a positive public image. As the cornerstone of an energy efficiency program, solar energy provides evidence of your ‘green’ credentials, which can be promoted on your website, marketing and PR materials.
The presence and use of solar energy in your business can also powerfully impact employee behaviour. For example, among employees who value environmental responsibility, an employer’s commitment to environmental issues has been linked to stronger loyalty and employee retention. Many potential employees now evaluate their future employers’ environmental credentials when deciding whether to work with them.
Benefit #4: Solar Power Is Reliable And Long-Lasting
Solar power can future-proof your business against the rise and volatility of grid electricity prices or changing utility rates. Solar power provides peace of mind against short-term spikes in energy prices, which can place unnecessary stress on your business. Once installed, solar panels will provide electricity quietly, cleanly and affordably for 25 to 40 years. Tier 1 solar panels come with a 12-year manufacturer’s warranty and a 25-year performance warranty.
Final Thoughts: Benefits of Solar Power For Business
If you’re an Australian small business owner, the idea of ‘solar energy for businesses’ may seem like a risky or expensive move. But the truth is, if your business can afford to pay its electricity bills, it can afford the cost of commercial solar power. The benefits of solar power for business are diverse and many: lower electricity costs, commercial solar rebates to make the cost more affordable, a green reputation that attracts customers and employees alike, and access to a reliable source of renewable energy that provides protection against spikes in energy costs.