Power Your Business for a Brighter Future with Commercial Solar

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Slash energy costs, boost ROI, and enhance your brand image with commercial solar solutions. Learn how solar can benefit your business.

Commercial Solar isn’t a future trend; it’s the need of every business today. This guide will give you a short tour to understand everything you need to know about solar for your business. In the rapidly evolving business landscape, sustainable practices are not just an option but a necessity. Small business owners, corporate entities, and property managers should lead this shift towards a greener future. Our comprehensive commercial solar solutions offer a powerful way to transform your operations, delivering both environmental benefits and substantial financial advantage.

1. Why Commercial Solar? How it Will Power Your Business for a Brighter Future

Commercial solar energy is the only feasible way to achieve your electricity needs sustainably and economically. Here’s why commercial solar is an increasingly popular choice for businesses

Financial Advantages:

  • Cost Savings: Businesses can significantly reduce their electricity bills by harnessing solar energy. Solar panels generate power from sunlight, lowering reliance on traditional energy sources and providing substantial long-term savings.
  • Predictable Costs: Unlike ever-fluctuating grid prices, solar provides predictable energy costs. It allows for better budgeting and future planning.
  • Increased ROI: Investing in solar demonstrates your commitment to sustainability, a factor that can attract new customers and environmentally conscious investors, potentially leading to increased return on investment.

Environmental and Brand Benefits:

  • Sustainability Champion: By using clean and renewable energy, businesses can significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions. This transition supports corporate sustainability goals and demonstrates environmental responsibility to customers and stakeholders.
  • Future-Proof Your Business: Solar power positions your company as a leader in adopting sustainable practices, preparing you for a future focused on clean energy.
  • Social and Environmental Responsibility: As a business, you have some responsibility towards the environment and society. By helping nature remain pollution-free by using solar panels for electricity generation instead of traditional methods, you show others that you care about your responsibility for the environment and society.

Practical Considerations:

  • Scalable Solutions: Commercial solar systems can be customised to fit your energy needs and budget. Whether you run a small office or a large warehouse, there’s a solar solution.
  • Low Maintenance: Modern solar panels require minimal maintenance, ensuring long-term reliability and a hassle-free experience.
  • Government Incentives: Governments worldwide provide financial benefits to businesses that adopt solar power systems. The Australian government also offers several incentives, such as tax credits, rebates, and feed-in tariffs. These rebates help businesses reduce the cost of solar installations and get a quick return on investment by shortening the payback period.

Boost Your Business:

  • Energy Independence: Relying on solar energy makes businesses less dependent on external suppliers. This stability ensures an uninterrupted power supply, even during grid outages.
  • Energy for Remote Locations: Solar power is an affordable and reliable energy solution for companies located in remote areas. It eliminates the need for costly grid extensions and reduces dependence on generator fuels.
  • Technological Advancements: The solar industry has made significant technological advancements, resulting in more efficient and cost-effective solar solutions. These advancements have allowed businesses to achieve higher energy output from smaller installations, which makes solar power accessible to a broader range of companies.

2. What is the ROI of commercial solar?

The exact return on investment (ROI) for commercial solar installations can vary based on several factors, so it is tough to calculate the precise ROI you will get for your business. While every project is unique, here are some insights:

Average ROI Range of Commercial Solar:

Commercial solar installations have an average ROI of 8% to 12%. This metric indicates the financial viability and long-term benefits of embracing solar energy solutions for commercial purposes.

Calculating ROI:

To calculate the ROI of your commercial solar system, follow this formula:

  • Divide the total savings (including energy savings, feed-in tariff income, and rebates) by the total investment cost.
  • Multiply the result by 100 to get a percentage.

Investing in commercial solar is a wise choice that helps you preserve the environment while earning good financial returns. Solar energy can reduce your carbon emissions and benefit from government incentives. Solar power systems have a long lifespan, with an average of 25 years, and require minimal maintenance, which ensures steady returns on your investment. In short, commercial solar is a win-win situation where you can help the environment and secure your financial future.

3. What is the payback period for a commercial solar system?

The payback period of a commercial solar system is influenced by various factors, such as the size of the system, its location, and the energy consumption patterns. Usually, businesses can anticipate a payback period of 3 to 5 years for their investment in solar energy. Let me explain how this works.

Offsetting Electricity Costs:

  • Solar panels generate electricity during daylight hours.

  • By using this self-generated energy, businesses reduce their reliance on grid electricity.

  • The higher your electricity rate from the retailer, the more sense solar makes financially.

  • The more solar energy produced during business hours, the less electricity you need to purchase from the grid at the total rate.

Signifying payback periods and internal rate of return (IRR) for solar systems less than 100kW.

  • ACT: 3.4 years with an IRR of 33%

  • NSW: 4.8 years with an IRR of 25%

  • NT: 2.5 years with an IRR of 40%

  • QLD: 4.6 years with an IRR of 29%

  • SA: 3.4 years with an IRR of 37%

  • TAS: 5.1 years with an IRR of 22%

  • VIC: 5.3 years with an IRR of 24%

  • WA: 3.3 years with an IRR of 34%.

When you pay off the system, your organisation can benefit from solar energy produced by the system without any extra costs for the rest of the system’s lifespan. Incentives like net metering or SRECs can also provide ongoing revenue streams. Investing in commercial solar can save costs and contribute to a sustainable future.

4. Most Popular Commercial Solar Systems

Let’s delve into the most popular commercial solar system sizes and their associated costs:

Less than 30 kW (Up to about 100 panels):

  • These systems fall under the same grid connection rules as residential systems.

  • Installers who handle residential-sized installations can usually manage business-sized installs up to this level without specialised commercial solar expertise.

  • A 30 kW system generates approximately 120 kWh of electricity per day on average over a year, saving around $1,000 per month if fully self-consumed in commercial settings.

30 kW to 100 kW:

  • This range caters to small to medium-sized businesses, local clubs, sports groups, and office buildings.

  • These systems require more panels and hardware than residential setups.

  • Costs vary based on location, but as a rough estimate, commercial solar panel installations in this range can cost between $100,000 and $300,000.

Over 100 kW:

  • Larger systems are typically installed in small to medium factories, hotels, or larger office spaces.

  • These projects involve substantial panel arrays and more complex designs.

  • Costs for systems exceeding 100 kW can extend beyond $1,000,000 depending on the specific building size and energy need.

5. Maximise Your Business with Solar Rebates in Australia

As the GDP and Australian Market moves towards a more sustainable future, businesses in Australia are increasingly adopting solar energy. Not only does it help the environment, but it also provides significant savings on energy bills. The Australian government has introduced various incentives and rebates to promote renewable energy, making it an ideal time to consider solar power for your commercial establishment. In this guide, you’ll find everything about commercial solar rebates in Australia.

Tips for readers:

STC = Small-scale Technology Certificate
LGC = Large-scale Technology Certificate
FiT = Feed-in Tariff

6. Understanding Solar Rebates

Solar rebates are part of the Australian Government’s initiative program to encourage the use of renewable energy. The government provides certain rebates for installing solar panels. Your business can receive financial incentives that reduce the upfront cost of solar systems. These rebates are an opportunity to save money and contribute to a sustainable future.

Thanks to the Australian government’s commitment to green energy, Australian businesses are uniquely positioned to benefit from significant financial incentives in the journey towards renewable energy adoption. Among these incentives, the Small-scale Technology Certificates (STCs) and Large-scale Generation Certificates (LGCs) programs stand out, offering financial benefits to commercial entities looking to install solar systems. Here’s how these programs work and what they mean for your business.

The Small-scale Renewable Energy Scheme (SRES)

For small-scale to medium-sized businesses, the SRES offers STC certificates (Small-Scale Technology Certificate) for your solar system’s kilowatt (kW) capacity expected to be produced by 2030. You can sell these STC certificates to recover a part of the cost incurred during the installation.

Commercial solar systems with a capacity of 100kW or smaller qualify for the STC program. This program offers a financial incentive based on the system’s expected generation till 2030. The incentive can amount to approximately $350 per kW of solar installed, although this figure fluctuates with market conditions and depends on the installation location.

This incentive is typically applied as a point-of-sale discount. For instance, if your business is quoted $30,000 for a 30kW system, this price would include the STC ‘rebate’ of about $10,500. This upfront discount significantly reduces the initial investment required for solar installations, making solar energy more accessible and appealing for small to medium-sized businesses.

The Large-scale Renewable Energy Target (LRET)

Larger commercial projects can benefit from the LRET, which provides Large-scale Generation Certificates (LGCs) for actual renewable energy generation. LGCs can be sold to entities looking to offset their carbon emissions, offering an ongoing revenue stream for your business.

The STC program is no longer applicable to solar installations exceeding 100kW. Instead, these larger systems are eligible for LGCs, which cater to commercial entities with substantial energy needs. Unlike STCs, LGCs are not paid in advance; they must be accurately tracked, reported, and claimed each year based on actual energy generation.

To participate in the LGC (Large-scale Generation Certificate) program, your business must first become an “accredited power station” with the Clean Energy Regulator. This requires ensuring that your metering adheres to the National Electricity Market standards, which can be done with the assistance of your solar installer. Although this means that large-scale solar installations do not receive an immediate discount, LGCs offer a long-term financial incentive that rewards actual energy production.

7. How to Qualify Commercial Solar Rebate

Qualifying for these rebates involves meeting specific criteria, including:

  • System Size: The capacity of your solar system can determine eligibility for different schemes.

  • Installation: A Clean Energy Council (CEC) accredited professional installer must install your solar installation.

  • Products: Only CEC-approved solar panels and inverters are eligible for rebates.

Steps to Claim Your Rebate

  • Research: Understand which rebate scheme your business qualifies for.

  • Quote: Obtain quotes from CEC-accredited solar providers.

  • Approval: Ensure your system design and components meet all eligibility criteria.

  • Installation: Have your system installed by a CEC-accredited professional.

  • Claim: Your solar provider can usually assist you in claiming STCs or LGCs.

Maximising Your Investment

Beyond rebates, installing solar panels reduces energy costs over time. With the increasing cost of electricity due to power outages, investing in solar systems is becoming more attractive.

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