Commercial solar panels – the next smart investment for your business?


Commercial solar panels are becoming an increasingly popular option for Irish businesses looking to reduce their energy costs and become more environmentally friendly.

However, before choosing to install commercial solar panels, it is important to first assess whether they are suitable for your business. There are several factors to consider, including the size of your business premises, the amount of sunlight they receive, and your energy needs.

With this information to hand, you can make an informed decision about whether commercial solar panels are right for your business, and in this article, we aim to help you do just that.


The benefits of commercial solar panels for your business


Solar panels allow your business to generate its own electricity, which can provide considerable savings on your energy bills. Solar panels are a relatively low-risk investment, and, in certain circumstances, can even make you money by producing electricity for the grid.

Increasingly important, however, is that commercial solar panels also help to reduce your business’s carbon footprint.

With the world moving towards renewables in the face of the climate crisis, many customers are increasingly interested in doing business with environmentally responsible companies. So investing in solar panels is a great way to make your business more attractive to potential customers and to establish it as a leader in the green revolution.




The government’s approach to solar energy amidst an energy crisis


The Irish government has ambitious plans for the country’s future energy needs, aiming to have 80% of electricity come from renewable sources by 2030. In 2020, 42% of electricity already came from renewable sources, with the majority of this being generated by wind power.

The Climate Change Advisory Council (CCAC) has called for the government to remove the red tape barriers around the renewable energy process. This includes taking immediate measures to finance insulation, draught-proofing, and installing heating controls in homes. Doing so will help to bring down the rising costs of energy.

There is strong public support for increasing the amount of renewable energy generated by the country. With both wind and solar power being widely available and relatively low-cost options for generating renewable energy, Ireland is well-placed to meet its targets and lead the way in transitioning to a low-carbon economy.

If you’re not sold on commercial solar panels for your business, you might consider some of the benefits:


  • Saving on your energy bills
  • Reducing your overall running costs
  • Preparing your business for the future
  • Easier forecasting with less fluctuation in energy prices
  • Increased revenue via the Clean Export Premium (CEP)
  • A lowering of your carbon footprint and improved reputation as a result


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The business requirements for commercial solar panels


Commercial solar panels can be installed on any business premises that have a south-facing roof. The roof must also be large enough to accommodate the number of panels required to meet your energy needs.

Your business may need to seek planning permission to install commercial solar panels by applying to your local planning authority.

Under revised regulations for solar panel installations on rooftops of industrial, light industrial and business premises, installations covering the entire roof are exempt from requiring planning permission.

Under the new regulations for businesses, the exemption of 50 square metres or less for the entire development has also been increased to a rooftop limit of 300 square metres.




At Alternative Energy Ireland, our team will carry out a comprehensive survey to ensure that solar panels are the right choice for your business, but here are some of the considerations to keep in mind:


  • Is there steady demand for electricity during daylight hours?
  • Does your business have high energy consumption?
  • What size do you have available for solar PV arrays?
  • Is your existing roof structure in good condition?
  • Does it have a lifespan of 25 years or more?
  • Is your roof south-facing or accessible by sunlight?
  • Is there shading from trees or other buildings?
  • What are the planning and grid connection requirements for the system?
  • What competent contractor will you trust to install your solar PV system?


Grants and schemes available for commercial solar panels


The Non-Domestic Microgeneration Grant scheme can provide grant aid of up to €2,400 for the installation of microgeneration technologies such as solar photovoltaic panels, wind turbines, and biomass boilers. The scheme is open to businesses, farms, not-for-profit organisations, and public sector bodies.

The amount you’ll receive from the grant depends on the standard output from your PV installation. At a minimum, €900 is available for businesses producing 1kWp up to €2,400 for those producing 6kWp maximum. The grant is paid after the system has been installed and all evidence has been submitted.

Once the system is installed, businesses can expect average annual savings of between €2000 and €3000, depending on the size and type of system installed.


Some energy-saving products available for your business


Installing solar panels is just one-way businesses can save on energy costs. There are many other products available that can help you to make your business more energy-efficient and reduce your carbon footprint.

Some of the products that can help you save energy include:


  • Energy-efficient lightbulbs: These use less electricity than traditional incandescent bulbs and last longer, so you’ll save money on your energy bills and replacement costs
  • Solar-powered lights: These are an excellent option for businesses with large outdoor areas, as they’ll provide lighting without adding to your energy costs
  • Smart thermostats: These allow you to control the temperature of your premises remotely, so you can ensure the heating or air conditioning is only turned on when necessary
  • Window solar chargers: These are a great way to make use of natural sunlight to power your devices
    Smart meters: A smart meter can help you to keep track of your energy usage and find ways to reduce your consumption


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Alternative Energy Ireland – your provider of commercial solar panels


At Alternative Energy Ireland, we believe that renewable energy is the key to a sustainable future. We offer our customers a broad range of renewable energy technologies, including solar PV, lighting upgrades and electric car charging.

Our team of experts is committed to providing the highest quality workmanship and customer care, and we are proud to be an Irish-owned company.

We provide solutions to help your business save money and make a difference in the fight against climate change.

Contact us now to learn more about our solar solutions and to book a free feasibility study, and be sure to browse our blog for the latest trends and developments in solar energy.


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