The Green Issue: Electricity that doesn't cost the earth - Neil Stott of Mypower
Climate change. It hasn't gone away. One of the challenges businesses face is that 'doing the right thing' typically involves some kind of commercial compromise that may hinder a business' ability to invest in their core products or services.
An investment in a well designed and installed commercial solar PV system does not mean that you have to make a commercial compromise, in fact it very quickly becomes a commercial opportunity, with your own clean electricity produced at 4-5p/unit, versus buying from the grid at approx. 15p/unit.
Sounds too good to be true?
Yes, at face value we think it sounds too good to be true, and this is before you consider that there is a limited pot of 30 per cent grant funding available to businesses in Gloucestershire.
However, at Cheltenham solar panel company, Mypower, we've been designing and installing commercial solar PV systems for the past 10 years, and regularly design and install commercial solar PV systems that deliver electricity to businesses at 1/3 of the price of buying from the grid and achieve an ROI of over 15 per cent. It's not just a one off.
We pride ourselves on our attention to both the commercial and technical details (one of the reasons why we were selected to install a 150-panel system on Gloucester Cathedral in 2016), and have helped a number of Gloucestershire businesses and public sector organisations to a greener, cleaner future. These include - Quickgrind, Far Peak, Gilders, Stewart Golf, and Shire Hall.
Is solar PV the right energy solution for your business?
If you are spending more than £1,000 per month on electricity for your business, and you have a metal roofed building, OR your roof is less than 20 years old, the answer is highly likely to be a resounding 'Yes'.
A solar PV system delivers electricity at around 4-5p/unit. This compares to around 15p/unit supplied by your energy provider. Creating your own clean supply of electricity reduces your costs and protects you against the volatility of the energy market and rising electricity prices.
Most businesses can make significant savings. High energy users such as manufacturers, food producers and those with cold storage facilities will benefit the most but equally smaller companies are still generating electricity at a third of the price of grid supplied and they are preparing for future growth and the Electric Vehicle revolution.
Payback periods are typically between five and seven years, and that's before any potential benefit using available Annual Investment Allowance tax benefits. In effect your business could be generating 'free' electricity in as little as five years.
First year return on investment is usually in excess of 15 per cent. It's also worth noting that asset financing options are relatively cheap now and easily accessible with many of our customers seeing savings from Year 1 even after paying capital and interest payments.
Electricity which doesn't cost the Earth
Solar PV isn't just about saving money but also reducing your impact on the climate crisis. Generating your own business solar energy will significantly reduce your carbon footprint. Our commercial customers on average avoid 50-100 tonnes of CO2 every year generating their own clean renewable energy.
Grant funding is available
Local grants specific to business renewable energy solutions are available in many regions. In Gloucestershire, a grant is available for companies and offers 30 per cent funding towards the cost of purchase and installation of carbon reducing initiatives and Solar PV is one of them.
A recent customer of ours, Quickgrind Ltd, who are based in Tewkesbury received £40,000 for free through the grant. Quickgrind is an internationally renowned engineering manufacturer specialising in design and manufacture of carbide tools. Their productions require some 1.2 million units of electricity per annum and their solar PV system will save them £1.1 million over the next 25 years.
The grant is a limited pot of money available to eligible Gloucestershire based SME businesses on a first come first served basis and purely to help businesses reduce their energy consumption for a more sustainable future.
We've already helped several businesses in Gloucestershire through the grant scheme. It's a straightforward process which we can help you with.
Gloucestershire businesses benefiting from Solar PV
Leeways Packaging Services - with electricity costs of around £25k per month, Leeways were looking to reduce their environmental impact and drive down day to day costs. Their 500kW solar PV installation will save more than £3 million in electricity costs.
Daylesford Organic - Their 108kW solar PV system will help them avoid more than 24 tonnes of CO2 emissions every year and save more than £480,000 on electricity bills.
Gloucester Cathedral - our award-winning installation at Gloucester Cathedral was the first of its kind anywhere in the world. Their energy costs will be reduced by 25 per cent, saving £190,000 over the next 25 years. The solar will provide 16 tonnes of CO2 savings per year, the equivalent of planting 3.5 acres of woodland per annum.
We expect to continue to see grid supplied electricity prices rise. The great news is that your own solar PV installation will help you mitigate the rising costs of electricity, with an equivalent fixed cost to generate of 4-5p/unit.
The benefits of solar PV are clear and robust, and importantly have been proven reliable over many years.
We don't promise the earth, but we are helping to save it.
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