Solar for business

Why choose solar?

Remember that solar generates when the sun is shining and if you can use the power at that time then you get it straight from your roof – for free!

Most businesses can benefit from solar as they use electricity during the day – when the sun is shining!

Five reasons to go solar now:

  1. Increase your profit
  2. Future proof your business against energy prices
  3. Get a return on your energy costs
  4. Don’t miss out on the government rebates for installing solar
  5. Do the right thing for the planet by generating clean, renewable energy

*Help with the upfront cost of installing solar

Under state government schemes in both New South Wales and Victoria certain businesses qualify for varying levels of rebates on installing solar.

The following categories of businesses that qualify are:

  • Education
  • Industrial
  • Healthcare
  • Hospitality
  • Offices
  • Retail
  • Showrooms
  • Supermarkets

You may also be eligible for funding through Environmental Upgrade Agreements (EUAs). EUAs are a council-based funding mechanism that has been developed to enable building owners and tenants to access low cost finance for environmental upgrades over $15,000 – such as solar, LED lights, boiler/chiller upgrades or double glazing. Repayments are calculated to be less than the financial savings so businesses will be cash flow positive from day one.

How do EUAs work?

Approved financers lend money for the works via participating Victorian and NSW Councils, who levy an Environmental Upgrade Charge on the building. Repayments are collected through the rates system. This process provides the lender with greater security, unlocking fixed-interest, long term loans at competitive rates. Building owners can ask tenants to contribute towards the cost of the upgrade as they will benefit from lower operational costs. This enables building owners to increase the value of their property with minimal financial outlay. EUAs can also be initiated by tenants.

Who does this work for?

Businesses with daytime energy use looking to reduce their outgoings and protect themselves against rising energy costs and their landlords. Even if you don’t have a suitable roof you could consider an EUA to fund other environmental upgrades. The key benefit of this model is that you will be cash flow positive from day one. For more information on EUAs visit this website.

The basics

  • Building owner agrees to upgrades
  • Building owner, council and finance provider enter into an EUA
  • Finance provider advances funds for the upgrade
  • Council collects repayments through a rates based system and then passes the repayments through to the finance provider
  • The building owner can ask the tenants to contribute or cover the cost of the upgrades through the savings made on their energy bills and running costs

 EUAs can offer excellent ways for businesses to:

  • Reduce running costs
  • Install renewable energy systems, such as solar
  • Reduce greenhouse gas emissions
  • Improve working conditions

At present, council areas offering EUAs include:

New South Wales

  • Blacktown City
  • Lake Macquarie City
  • City of Newcastle
  • North Sydney
  • Parramatta City
  • City of Sydney

Community Solar Finance

Community solar projects enable businesses to install a solar system on their roof at no upfront cost. Under this model, the solar panels are funded and owned by community investors.

How it works in practice

The business agrees to host the panels and purchase the electricity generated from the community solar operator for an agreed period (usually 5-7 years). The system can also be accessed through a lease or loan arrangement. The community solar organisation helps hosts choose the right system size and manages the installation process. During the agreed period the community solar organisation will own and maintain the panels. Hosts will receive a regular bill from the community solar organisation for the electricity that they use from the solar panels. Revenue from the sale of electricity is passed back to the community investors in the form of a return on investment. After the agreed contract period ends the ownership of the solar panels is transferred to the roof host at no cost, enabling them to access solar energy free of charge.

Who does this work for?

Community solar models work best for businesses (owner occupiers or long term tenants) with a large roof space, significant daytime electricity consumption 5-7 days a week. Benefits of this approach are that you can minimise your exposure to rising electricity prices for the duration of the agreement, get free solar panels after the agreement ends and strengthen connections with your local community, and showcase your green powered business. To find out more call 1300 339 915.