Why business parks are bleeding money...

The best hedge against rising energy prices is to be energy independent.

By: Haem Roy

Business Parks typically tend to have big energy bills. However, sustainability achievements can now come along with reduced operational costs and protection from ever increasing energy expenses.

Solar microgrids are one such solution that can not only help business parks achieve their sustainability targets, but also help to generate up to 30% of their electricity needs, protecting them and their tenants from ever increasing energy prices. Below is a brief study from PowerMarket.

In 2014 the UK government assessed that there is 250,000 hectares of south facing commercial rooftops suitable for solar pv1. Based on this figure it is estimated that British businesses could be saving £5bn a year in electricity bills through the installation of rooftop solar PV; this represents a 23.8% saving on the current total of £21bn.

Given this is the case, it would seem logical that property owners with suitable roof spaces and high electricity bills would immediately look for solar. Yet a survey commissioned by E.ON demonstrated that almost half of senior managers at British companies are unaware of their energy spend, and as a result, are unaware of the savings that could be made2. A solar installation will reduce the amount of money that would need to be spent on electricity from the grid, where year on year price rises are the norm. It is also an important signal of a business’s green credentials, especially relevant for those with sustainability targets to reach.

To demonstrate the opportunity that is being missed, PowerMarket took the initiative to conduct its independent survey of business parks in the UK. We chose business parks because they tend to have large, flat roof areas and the tenants typically face high electricity bills.

Figure 1: Location of business parks studied by PowerMarket, image source: Google Maps

Our findings were startling. The study showed that, on average business parks can generate financial returns, comprised of savings on energy bills and income from feed-in-tariffs, of £18 sqm/year. Or, in other words, the value of a solar installation to a typical business park with 5000sqm of roof area is £4.0million over a 25 year period.

1 https://www.gov.uk/government/news/the-uks-rooftops-to-become-power-stations

2 http://www.telegraph.co.uk/business/energy-efficiency/businesses-lack-energy-knowledge/

PowerMarket is a product of SunReign Ltd, a UK registered company founded with a mission: sustainable energy for all. PowerMarket, an Oxford University Innovation and European Space Agency supported venture, provides companies end-to-end solar solutions – helping you assess, procure, finance, install and maintain solar energy projects.

If you have a rooftop, carpark or an open field within your business premises, you can evaluate its solar potential for free at https://www.powermarket.net and sign-up for your bespoke solar solution. Or, write to us at contact@powermarket.net.

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