What Are the Commercial Uses of Solar Energy?

One of the most popular and easily accessible renewable energy sources nowadays is solar power.

Solar power has become a viable option for commercial buildings due to the rising need for environmentally responsible and cost-effective alternatives to conventional energy production. 

Here we’ll examine how solar power is being used in the business world, focusing on how it’s being utilised to light up offices, run stores, and run factories.

Let’s dive in and see how solar power has impacted company practices so far!

How Commercial Buildings Can Benefit From Solar Energy

Reduces Expenses And Creates Financial Gains

Commercial properties have substantial continuous electricity costs.

The use of solar panels drastically lowers annual energy bills.

Installing solar panels requires a sizable upfront investment, but over time, the money saved from electricity bills more than pays for the panels themselves.

Increases Property Value

These days, everyone is talking about how to save energy.

Commercial properties with solar panels installed tend to sell more quickly and for a higher price.

It Benefits Your Brand And The Environment

Since solar energy can be generated repeatedly and doesn’t contribute to global warming, switching to it is good for the environment.  

Consumer demand for green goods and services has grown in recent years.

For example, a company’s commitment to sustainability and environmental protection is highlighted when it goes green by installing solar panels. 

It’s A Safety Against Electrical Failures

Power outages can leave completely electric-reliant buildings in the dark during storms or when something goes wrong with the wiring.

However, companies can keep their doors open during a blackout thanks to solar panels and backup battery systems.

Low Expense Of Maintenance

Maintenance for solar panels is minimal over their useful lifetime; a regular wash may be necessary depending on environmental conditions and the amount of dust and dirt that settles on the panels. 

They are very reliable because there are no moving parts.

Solar panels are constructed with non-corrosive aluminium frames and tempered glass, making them impervious to the elements. The lifespan of photovoltaic cells is estimated to be at least 25 years.

Solar Advantages for Businesses and Homeowners

Renewable Energy Source

Solar power is one of Earth’s few completely renewable energy sources.

Moreover, the sun will continue to shine for as long as we remain on Earth; its energy reserves are thought to last at least another 5 billion years. 

Significantly Lowers Energy Bills.

If you generate electricity on-site, you’ll use less energy from the National Grid and other conventional utility providers.

Said your savings will be proportional to the energy you generate.

Of course, how much will depend on the system’s size and your typical consumption patterns?

Nevertheless, saving hundreds, if not thousands, of pounds a year with little effort is possible.

Easy To Set Up, Affordable, And Decreasing In Price

Many consumers need help with the price of solar panels.

Despite wide price swings from customer to customer, we can offer consistently great deals thanks to the panels’ simple installation (there are no moving parts). 

The future looks bright since solar panels are now widely available and affordable rather than a niche experimental item.

Environmental Impact Reduction

Solar panels’ capacity to generate electricity without contributing to global warming or water pollution makes them a popular choice among those concerned about the environment.

Even in densely populated places, the silence of solar panels makes them a viable option. 

Let’s say your company is considering installing solar panels for commercial use.

In such instances, you may leverage them as a cutting-edge illustration of your CSR, which could be the deciding factor in winning over new clients.

Increases Both Your Energy Safety And Control

Your company will be safer from power outages and blackouts if it uses less energy from the National Grid. 

Loss of productivity is a major risk in these situations because it can reduce your capacity to perform work for clients and customers, which can quickly rack up costs (both direct and indirect).

A main power outage can have a significant impact on productivity and income.

Still, if you can generate and store energy on-site, you can reduce the impact of an outage on your business.

Your Generated Electricity Is More Valuable

Research has determined that our daily energy demands are greatest between the hours of 11 a.m. and 4 p.m. and then again in the late evening.

There’s no need for rocket science to figure out why: that’s when most of us are at work before taking some time off in the evening. 

In addition, power costs more during daylight hours because most businesses and homes use electricity.

Fortunately, the peak hours for solar energy production are between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m., so the electricity you generate will be more valuable and cost-effective.

Benefits Your Csr And Environmental Credibility

Solar panels are great for the environment for several reasons, and they also serve as a symbol of your company’s dedication to environmental protection.

Customers in the current era, especially in light of the worsening climate problem, are increasingly voting with their finances by patronising environmentally conscious enterprises.

Installing solar panels is a terrific way to improve your CSR, which may help you win over the pickiest of consumers and investors.

Silent And Space-Saving

Compared to the other advantages, these are less important but still useful.

For example, quickly putting solar panels on top of a current structure can save important space elsewhere, which might spare you logistical issues if your firm expands physically, like expanding with new premises or structures on-site. 

In addition, if your company is located in an apartment complex, the absence of noise from solar panels, as opposed to technologies like mobile generators, can assist in improving your standing with the local community.

Broader Economic Benefits Of Solar Energy

Solar Panels on Roof at Dusk

Of course, there are broader benefits as well.

Domestically and internationally, solar energy investment yields two- to three times as many new jobs as coal or gas investment.

It’s also dependable since the sun is so difficult to privatise. 

Solar Energy Problems in Business and Industry

Landlord-Tenant Alignment

Landlord-owned buildings, on the other hand, have challenges that need to be present in owner-occupied structures. 

For instance, a property owner may be enthusiastic about solar energy, but the tenant owns the electric metre and is responsible for all electrical costs.

As a result, landlords are not incentivised to spend money on a perk (lower electric bills) that primarily benefits the tenant. 

One option is for the landlord to purchase the solar panels and then sell the tenant the electricity they generate.

However, the landlord could be concerned about long-term payments for solar electricity if the tenant’s contract expires within the next three to four years.

In this case, it might make sense for the landlord to consider taking over the electric account.

On the other hand, a renter with a 10- to 20-year lease may purchase the solar panels outright without any investment from the landlord.

There is still a chance that the landlord will object to solar installation or demand payment for the usage of the roof. 

Sometimes, however, a flex building’s solar potential is thwarted by the presence of numerous tenants, each of whom has their electric metre and whose leases expire at different times.

In all of these cases, solar may be installed thanks to ingenious building layouts that reap incremental benefits for the landlord and the tenant.

Electrical Load

The vast rooftops of many office buildings make them ideal locations for solar power plants.

However, most solar panels can only provide enough energy to cover the annual electric consumption of the building’s metered account. 

In addition, many large buildings are used as warehouses without the usual heating, cooling, and industrial processing that generate a hefty electric bill.

Because of their modest electric load, these structures can only accommodate a relatively small solar array. 

Therefore, switching gas-powered machinery to electrical power for solar energy may make sense.

In other circumstances, it may be beneficial to cover a large roof with solar panels and send the power produced straight to the grid rather than to the building’s metre.

Age Of Roof

Unlike commercial roofs, which normally have a warranty of 10-25 years, solar panels have a standard warranty of 25 years. 

Installing solar panels onto a roof that needs to be replaced within the next five years is not a wise decision for a building owner.

It would be very expensive to remove solar panels, replace the roof, and re-install them if solar panels were first installed. 

This is not an issue for roofs under five years old. The lifespan of the solar panel system is roughly equivalent to how long the roof is predicted to last.

An older roof, between 15 and 25 years old, is still in good shape without any active leaks. A replacement is scheduled for the far future.

However, it is not necessary at this moment.

Should we put off solar till we have a leaking roof? It could be less expensive to replace the roof before it collapses, allowing solar panel installation to start sooner. 

The solar installer and roofer must coordinate their efforts to ensure a smooth solar roof installation.

Structural

Ballast is typically used to fix solar panels on roofs rather than permanent penetrations. Solar panels typically contribute 3-6 psi to the overall building weight. 

It is essential to have a skilled structural engineer check a structure to determine its structural capabilities, but many buildings have been constructed to sustain this amount of added weight. 

Prefabricated “Butler-style” buildings should be carefully analysed because many of them were not constructed with considerable additional capacity.

Solar systems can be designed to be lightweight and fit within the structure’s parameters.

Capital

Many demands exist on a company’s cash, and the primary business has ongoing operational and expansion requirements. 

Although solar energy has the potential to generate higher returns than investments in core activities, it is still viewed as a luxury rather than a need by most people. 

As a result, the solar sector has devised innovative ways to finance its projects to combat this problem.

Some of these structures do not require repayment from the company or its balance sheet and have a negligible effect on the business’s ability to get debt financing for its primary activities.

Lenders are more likely to approve solar energy projects that reduce recurring operational costs for their borrowers.

The goal of any simple solar installation should be to help you find the best financing plan for your business or building rather than leading you towards their prefered plan.

Conclusion

The increasing demand for ecologically responsible and cost-effective alternatives to conventional energy generation has made solar power a popular renewable energy source for commercial buildings. 

It saves money and generates profits, raises the value of real estate, helps businesses and the environment, safeguards against electrical breakdowns, and requires nothing in the way of upkeep. 

One of the few truly renewable energy sources on Earth, solar power has enough energy stored in it to endure for at least the next five billion years.

Installing solar panels can help you save money and lessen your influence on the environment.

They are favoured by eco-conscious consumers since they can be installed quickly and cheaply and their costs are continually going down.

Value and efficiency are enhanced because they improve energy security and management. They can also serve as a cutting-edge example of a company’s commitment to corporate social responsibility and environmental sustainability. 

Between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m., solar panels produce the most usable and inexpensive electricity. Solar panels are beneficial to the environment and can demonstrate a company’s dedication to sustainability.

They don’t make a lot of noise or take up much room, create twice as many new employment as investments in coal or gas, and are reliable since the sun is hard to privatise.

However, in owner-occupied buildings, landlord-tenant alignment is more difficult since owners may not have an incentive to pay for an amenity that primarily benefits tenants. 

Even if tenants pay for solar panels out of pocket and without landlord involvement, the property owner may still raise objections. Ingenious building layouts allow for the installation of solar electricity in flex buildings, benefiting both the landlord and the tenant in small but meaningful ways.

The annual electric consumption of the building’s metered account is the maximum amount that solar panels can offer, so it may make sense to convert gas-powered machinery to electrical power.

Installing solar panels on a roof that will need to be replaced within the next five years is not a good idea because of the solar panels’ usual warranty of 25 years.

Solar panels are often mounted on rooftops using structural ballast, which adds between 3 and 6 psi to the building’s overall weight. 

Solar energy systems can be made to be compact and light so that they can be installed in a variety of locations.

Higher profits are possible with solar energy, although it is still considered an extravagant investment. 

The solar industry has responded by coming up with novel approaches to securing funding for its endeavours.

Financial backers are more inclined to give the green light to initiatives that cut fixed operational expenses.

Content Summary

  • Solar power has quickly become one of the most widely used renewable energy sources because of its widespread availability.
  • The increasing need for environmentally responsible and cost-effective alternatives to conventional energy generation has made solar power a practical choice for commercial buildings.
  • In this article, we’ll take a look at the commercial applications of solar energy, specifically at how it’s being put to use in places like offices, stores, and even entire factories.
  • Let’s delve in and examine the effects of solar electricity on current business procedures.
  • Solar energy’s cost-cutting and revenue-generating potential for commercial buildings is discussed.
  • Consistently high electricity prices are a burden for commercial properties.
  • Solar panels can reduce your annual energy expenditure by a significant amount.
  • Installed solar panels increase the value and speed of sale of commercial real estate.
  • Both your company and the planet will benefit.
  • Switching to solar energy is beneficial to the environment because it can be created again and does not contribute to global warming.
  • The demand for environmentally friendly products and services has increased in recent years.
  • By adding solar panels, for instance, a corporation can demonstrate its dedication to environmental protection and sustainability.
  • Solar panels require very little upkeep over the course of their useful life; a periodic wash may be required depending on environmental factors and the quantity of dust and grime that falls on the panels.
  • Photovoltaic cells have a predicted 25-year lifespan.
  • The less you rely on the National Grid and other traditional utility providers, the more money you’ll save.
  • That’s right; the more power you produce, the more money you’ll save.
  • Of course, the cost will be relative to the size of the system and your individual use habits.
  • A lot of people require financial aid since solar panels are expensive.
  • Solar panels are no longer a costly luxury item but a common household item, and this bodes well for the future.
  • Solar panels are favoured by eco-conscious people because they may generate electricity without adding to climate change or water pollution.
  • Since solar panels produce no audible noise, they can be used even in heavily inhabited areas.
  • Let’s assume you’re thinking about getting solar panels for business use.
  • If this is the case, you may use it to show how progressive your CSR is, which could be the determining factor in attracting new customers.
  • Adds to your energy security and autonomy.
  • If your business reduces its reliance on power from the National Grid, it reduces its vulnerability to blackouts and other disruptions.
  • A primary danger in these circumstances is a loss of productivity, which can diminish your ability to complete work for clients and customers, leading to increased costs (both direct and indirect).
  • The loss of main power can have a devastating effect on production and earnings.
  • However, if you have the ability to produce and store electricity on-site, you can lessen the blow to your company in the event of a power failure.
  • It doesn’t take a genius to figure out why: that’s when the vast majority of us are at work before heading home for the day.
  • Solar panels have many positive effects on the environment and can also be seen as a public statement of your company’s commitment to environmental responsibility.
  • A great method to boost your CSR and maybe win over even the most discerning customers and investors is to install solar panels.
  • By installing solar panels on top of an existing building rapidly, you can free up valuable real estate that can be put to better use elsewhere, potentially easing the logistical burden of a physical expansion of your business.
  • Moreover, if your business is located in a residential area, the lack of noise from solar panels, as compared to technology like mobile generators, might help you gain favour with the neighbourhood.
  • Solar energy’s wider economic benefits
  • There are further, far-reaching advantages, of course.
  • Solar energy investment creates two- to three-times as many new jobs than coal or gas investment does, both at home and abroad.
  • On the other hand, landlord-owned buildings necessitate features that are unnecessary in owner-occupied properties.
  • Even if a landlord is supportive of renewable energy sources like solar power, tenants still have to pay for and maintain the electric metre.
  • A landlord may choose to install solar panels and recoup some of the cost by selling the tenant the power they produce.
  • If the tenant’s lease expires in the next three to four years, however, the landlord may be anxious about making long-term payments for solar electricity.
  • It could make sense for the landlord to assume responsibility for the power bill in this scenario.
  • Tenants with a 10- to 20-year lease, on the other hand, can buy the solar panels outright without the landlord having to put any money into the project.
  • However, the presence of multiple tenants, each of whom has their own electric metre and whose leases expire at different times, can sometimes undermine a flex building’s solar potential.
  • Solar panels can be put in any of these scenarios because of clever architectural design that provide incremental benefits to the building owner and renter.
  • Solar power plants are ideally suited for installation on the expansive rooftops of many urban office buildings.
  • However, the average solar panel only produces enough power to offset the building’s annual electric use.
  • These buildings can only support a small solar array due to their low electrical needs.
  • Consequently, it might make sense to convert gas-powered equipment to electrical power for solar energy.
  • In other cases, it could be more cost-effective to install solar panels on a large roof and connect them directly to the electricity grid, bypassing the building’s metre.
  • Solar panels typically come with a 25-year warranty, whereas commercial roofs often come with a 10- to 25-year warranty.
  • If a roof is going to need to be replaced in the next five years, it’s not a good idea to install solar panels on it.
  • If solar panels were initially installed, it would be highly costly to remove them, replace the roof, and re-install them.
  • For roofs that are younger than five years old, this is not a concern.
  • The expected longevity of the roof is nearly the same as that of the solar panel installation.
  • Should we wait till we have a leaking roof to install solar panels?
  • If the roof can be replaced before it falls, it can be done at a lower cost and solar panel installation can begin sooner.
  • To guarantee a successful solar roof installation, it is important that the solar installer and roofer work together.
  • Although it is always best to have a professional structural engineer evaluate a building to establish its load bearing capacity, many structures are already built to accommodate such an increase.
  • It is important to thoroughly examine prefabricated “Butler-style” structures because many of them were not built with substantial extra capacity.
  • Solar energy systems can be made to be lightweight and easily integrated into the existing architecture.
  • There are numerous drains on a company’s resources, and core operations and growth always have to be funded.
  • Most people still consider solar energy a luxury rather than a need, despite the fact that it has the potential to deliver larger returns than investments in core businesses.
  • To address this issue, the solar industry has developed novel approaches of funding its projects.
  • Certain structures do not impact the company’s capacity to secure debt funding for its core operations, and do not necessitate repayment from the company or its balance sheet.
  • If a solar energy project will help a borrower cut monthly operating expenses, the lender is more likely to give it the green light.
  • An easy solar installation should not steer you towards their prefered financing plan, but rather help you choose the ideal one for your company or building.

FAQs About Commercial Uses of Solar Energy

What Is Commercial Solar Energy?

Commercial solar energy refers to the use of solar panels or photovoltaic (PV) cells to generate electricity for commercial purposes, such as businesses, industries, or institutions.

How Do Commercial Solar Panels Work?

Commercial solar panels use photovoltaic cells to convert sunlight into electricity. When sunlight hits the solar panel, the photovoltaic cells absorb the energy and create an electrical charge, which can then be used to power a building or fed back into the electrical grid.

What Are The Benefits Of Commercial Solar Energy?

Commercial solar energy can provide a range of benefits, including lower energy costs, reduced carbon emissions, increased energy independence, and a positive impact on the environment.

What Are The Costs Of Installing Commercial Solar Panels?

The costs of installing commercial solar panels vary depending on a range of factors, such as the size of the system, the type of panel, and the location. However, the upfront costs of installation can be offset by savings on energy bills over time.

Can Commercial Solar Panels Be Used In All Types Of Weather?

Commercial solar panels are designed to work in a range of weather conditions, including cloudy or overcast days. However, the amount of electricity generated may vary depending on the amount of sunlight available.

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