Time to See the Light with Solar Panels
As reported by The Switch, according to The Solar Trade Association, solar panels have been installed to approximately 900,000 British homes.
Since 2010, 1.8 million new build homes have been delivered in England.
This gives us quite an impressive ratio for the number of homes that benefit from solar energy, but with a 74% approval from the British public and with a 17% annual growth in solar capacity, this number should really be higher, especially with all new homes expected to achieve a 31% reduction in carbon emissions as of this year.
In fact, according to a report in The Guardian from 2014, energy experts claimed that 10 million UK homes would need to be installed with solar panels by 2020 in order to “fulfil its renewable energy potential.”
So, we’re already playing catch-up.
But with so many benefits, developers should strive to install solar panels on every building – especially when building integrated solar panels can actually save on roof covering costs.
Furthermore, the reduced running cost of energy improves the building’s value and attractiveness to buyers, helping get sales over the line quicker and at a premium.
From a compliance standpoint, they improve a development’s BREAM score and SAP rating. With a high interest in ESG credentials, they also reinforce a developer’s environmental commitment.
Most importantly, they reduce the average home’s carbon emissions by 1.3 to 1.6 tonnes per year, according to The Energy Saving Trust, while saving approximately £270 in energy bills in the same period.
These are certainly benefits that developers should be using to make decisions regarding solar panels, but their responsibility doesn’t end here.
Firstly, they should be clearly informing their home users of the various ways they can use the energy produced by their solar panels, be it as a supplement for their energy consumption or by selling it back to the Grid.
Secondly, they should lead by example and install solar panels to their office building, further enhancing their ESG credentials and helping achieve sustainability targets, while also potentially earning tax relief and additional income by selling back to the Grid.
At Classic Folios, we installed solar panels to the building in 2016. We felt that the initial cost would be offset by the long-term utility savings, while it also tied into our commitment to the environment, as we began to offer more digital solutions and help developers educate their home users around sustainable daily practices, making best use of the systems installed in their home and the facilities on offer in the local area.
If you would like any advice on installing solar panels commercially, including insight into costs and savings, please do get in touch.