Are solar panels worth it for a business?

With some microbusinesses using up to 15,000 kWh (kilowatt hours) of energy each year, the cost of running a business can add up. The good news is that solar power could be a long-term solution to rising energy costs, so why don’t more commercial buildings use solar?

Here, we take a look at the pros and cons of using solar panels on commercial buildings to see if your business could benefit. 


How do businesses benefit from solar panels? 

Solar energy doesn’t just help the environment by cutting back dependency on fossil fuels, it can help your business too, for example, by: 

  • Improving your green credentials – focusing on energy sustainability can help you target new customers who put corporate social responsibility first. It can give you a point of difference from your competitors.  
  • Saving money – installing solar panels could help you cut bills by providing you with your own energy supply.  
  • Earning money – if you generate more energy than you use, you can sell the excess to the National Grid under the government’s Smart Export Guarantee (SEG). 
  • Increasing the value of property – adding solar pv could increase the desirability of your commercial property so you’ll benefit if you decide to sell.  

Are there any disadvantages to commercial solar panels? 

Like most things, where there are advantages, there are drawbacks too, and solar energy is no different, for example: 

  • The initial cost can be prohibitive – cost will depend on the amount of energy you need to generate, the number of panels installed and the cost to install them. As a very rough guide, this could set you back at least £8,000 up to in excess of £70,000. However, solar panels should last up to 25 years, so you’ll be able to reap the rewards well into the future.  
  • Space – commercial solar panels are bigger than the ones used on homes and usually measure 99 cm by 195 cm so space is an important factor to consider.  
  • Location – if your premises is in an area with limited daylight hours, you could struggle to generate the energy you need. 
  • Maintenance – as a general rule, maintenance shouldn’t be too much of an issue but that doesn’t mean it’s non-existent. You’ll need to make sure that panels are clean and if you have a battery, you’ll also need to keep this in good working order, which could mean regular servicing.  


How do you make solar panels pay for themselves? 

Solar panels are a long-term investment but with energy costs predicted to double over the next decade, solar panel and combined with solar batteries is an investment that you should consider now.  

If the upfront cost is holding you back, some solar panel installers offer what’s called the power purchase agreement or PPA for short. Contracts are likely to vary according to the installer but typically, your solar panels will be installed on your property with either no upfront costs or a deposit. The installer will then sell you the energy generated at a preferential (lower) rate.  

When your contract ends, you’ll be able to extend the agreement, buy the panels yourself or ask the installer to remove them from your property.  


Do solar panels affect business rates? 

Yes, businesses that have invested in green energy installations and energy, already benefit from business rates relief introduced in April 2022. 

You can find out more about business rates at GOV.UK or speak to your local council who collect them on the government’s behalf.    


Can I make profit from solar panels? 

If you generate excess energy, you can sell it back to the National Grid. The long-term savings you make on energy bills can also be reinvested into your business. 


Can I write off the cost of solar panels for my business? 

You can claim certain capital allowances which cuts the amount of tax you pay. To qualify for relief, you’ll need to meet the government’s criteria but if you do qualify, it means you can deduct the full cost from your pre-tax profit.  


Are solar panels a good investment? 

Ultimately, whether or not solar panels for your business are a good investment for you, will depend on the nature of your business. Before making any decisions, it’s well worth doing your homework and considering key points, for instance: 

  • Whether or not you own your business premises.  
  • How long you intend to run your business for and whether panels will add value to your property (if you own it). 
  • If you can realistically generate the amount of energy you need to run your business. 
  • Whether you have the space and can afford to maintain solar panels or battery storage. 

If you’re looking for advice or guidance on commercial solar panels, why not contact us to see if we can help. You can call us on 01953 882787 or drop us a message at 

For more information about how we can help with your solar panels choices and installations, contact us today on 01953 882 787, or use our quick contact form to find out how we can help you.