Solar Panel Pricing FAQs
All Your Questions Answered
Q. What is the average commercial solar pv system cost?
As there are different systems and system sizes for producing solar energy, there’s no set price. A small-scale solar photovoltaic system will cost somewhere between £5,000 and £10,000, usually taking between six and ten years to pay back.
Larger rooftop and field systems can cost hundreds of thousands or even millions of pounds but what is important is not really the capital cost of the system but the return on your investment after capital and OPEX costs. The more electricity the building consumes the quicker your payback and the better your ROI.
It’s also worth finding out if you are eligible for government grants or incentives for businesses. Either way, there are plenty of other funding options available.
Importantly, the cost of a PV system is driven by your electricity consumption, roof structure, type, and quality of equipment.
One of the most commonly asked questions is “what does it cost?” When thinking about the cost of solar power, you have to look at the net cost after incentives and then compare it to the cost of doing nothing.
Q. Why Use Solar Energy for Businesses and what are the financial benefits?
One of the key benefits is the substantial cost savings — even small businesses can save hundreds of pounds each year.
Over the 25-year lifetime of solar panels, this equates to thousands of pounds. If you operate industrial PV systems, you can sell excess energy to utility companies for a profit.
The benefits of solar panels for business go beyond practicality and saving money. By switching to commercial solar panels, you are also lowering your business’s carbon footprint.
This is based on the volume of greenhouse gases produced by your actions. Solar energy is renewable and carbon neutral. Switching would indicate your business’s commitment to green and sustainable practices.
Q. Why is there such a price variation for similar PV system sizes?
This could down to several factors:
- The specification of the products can affect the price by up to 50% depending on the manufacturer, warranty terms, and degree of active monitoring expected from the client.
- The type of roof build-up and fabric will have a big impact on pricing. The panels can be either fixed or self-ballasted. The designers must check the roof loading allowance to determine whether a) the roof can withstand the weight of the panels and 2) the number and location of fixings.
The roof can be tiled or slated, clad with a metal sheet or corrugated cement, complete with a membrane-type finish or Green vegetation. There is a myriad of combinations and permutations.
Q. Do the inverters and other equipment fail within the first 5 years?
Yes, inverters are electronic so faults happen occasionally, and this can happen within the first five years. However, some manufacturers and indeed installers will guarantee the whole system including the inverter for longer periods.
Q. I have not installed a battery with my original installation, is it too late?
Absolutely not, there is a myriad of retrofit products and solutions that can not only provide additional storage but also improve the performance of the system even a few years after installation.
Q. What will the solar PV system cost?
PV System costs are the combination of panels (50%), mounting equipment (20%), the inverter (5%), and the installation (25%). Prices depend on the quality of materials and installation, so be very careful with only comparing on prices.
Q. Are solar PV systems getting cheaper?
Solar panels prices are consistently going down due to the increasing production levels and supplies mainly from China. Although market research would suggest that the prices are now reaching a plateau where the manufacturing cost has bottomed out. However, the progress in technology and R&D are constantly improving the efficiency and value of PV cells and modules.
Q. How Solar Power Saves Money
Solar power saves you money by reducing the amount of electricity that you have to buy from the grid. Every kWh that the PV panels generate will be consumed by your electrical equipment, lighting, and heating and will therefore save you the same kWh’s from the grid. If your building uses less electricity than the system produces, you can export it to one of many utility companies, which have to pay a minimum tariff set out by OFGEM. Another option is to install a battery and store the electricity during the daytime and use it for free at peak times in the evening when the rates are higher saving you even more money.
Q. Does commercial solar PV systems offer any financial benefits?
For any business, energy bills have a real impact on overall earnings. This is even more true for those of a smaller nature, dealing with lesser margins of profit and income. So, any way to reduce your overall bills is worth considering.
Solar PV energy for business is one of the best ways to cut costs. Sure, there’s an initial outlay which may look expensive. However, the mid-to-long-term benefits more than outweigh any commercial solar panel cost.
By producing your own business electricity, you’ll see reductions in your electricity bill almost instantly. The average cost of producing commercial solar PV energy is 5p per kWh (referred to as Levelized Cost of Energy or LCOE over the lifetime of the system). Currently, businesses pay between 11p and 15p for the same amount of energy from their suppliers. So, even at current prices, investing in commercial solar panels is worthwhile. Add in the fact that energy bills are set to double in the next ten years, and you can see how solar panels could save your business from increased fees for energy.
Q. How will the FIT help my business?
The FIT (Feed in Tariff ) is no longer available however the scheme has been replaced by the SEG ( Smart Export Guarantee) About the Smart Export Guarantee (SEG) | Ofgem
Q. Other Costs to Consider
Throughout the lifetime of your system, there may be additional expenses. Such as:
Most inverters will last about 5-15 years so will need replacing during the system lifetime. The cost of an inverter can vary from £300 for a domestic installation to £5000 for a commercial installation.
Although there is very little maintenance required on solar PV systems, we recommend a maintenance and monitoring schedule to prevent any mechanical or electrical faults.