Solar panels are an ideal method of reducing your heating costs. They are easy to install and are a renewable energy source.
How do Solar Panels Work?
There are hundreds of small cells inside a solar panel and when the sun shines on them, the photons released by the sun are absorbed into the cells. They are then converted into electrons which make electricity. The water in your hot water tank is then heated by the electricity which was created by the solar panels.
Although on cloudy days and during the winter months you will need to use a boiler to back up the system, the solar panels will be working too, so that your boiler won’t need to work so hard, saving you money. They will provide up to 50% of the hot water used in your business premises and reduce your business gas bills.
The Feed- in Tariff Scheme
The Feed-in Tariff scheme means that for every kWh that is generated by the solar panels your energy supplier will pay you a certain amount, even though you use the electricity for your business. Any electricity that you create, but don’t use, can be sold back to the National Grid. This can represent considerable savings on your gas and electricity bills.
A study will be made of the water used in your business to assess how many panels will be needed and where they will be situated. Your buy back tariff will also be calculated by the rating on your Energy Performance Certificate.
Your business premises will also be checked to ensure that the solar panels can face south and that there is a suitable roof space, wall or piece of land upon which they can be placed. Planning permission is not required in many cases, but it must be checked, especially if your business premises are in a listed building.
Solar panels require very little maintenance, they can be cleaned once a year with a little washing up liquid and some water, if they are placed on the roof, there are specialist companies that can come out and clean them. They should also be kept clear of obstructions like plants or overhanging trees. Snow doesn’t damage the panels and it is best to let the sun melt any snow or ice away.
Although solar panel prices have dropped in recent years, they are still costly, but it is an investment worth making when you take into account the savings on your energy bills and the fact that they last around 20 years or more.
A small business might need a 5kw system which can cost in the region of £15,000 to £20,000 pounds to buy and install.