Are solar PV systems viable for businesses? Yes, particularly if you plan to be in the same location for 5-10 years. Business are as eligible for solar incentives as households. Businesses electricity plans (or tariffs) are many and varied and although businesses might pay less per unit for electricity than residential customers, the cost of business electricity has risen dramatically and the cost of solar has dropped dramatically in the last six years making solar viable for most business customers.
Why should I install with Local Power components? Local Power has always sourced the highest quality components for the best price. Although all components come with long manufacturer's warranties, Local Power believes it's important to consider whether the manufacturers offering the warranties are likely to be around for the long term. As one criteria Local Power selects large companies who have preferably been around for a long time as an indicator of their quality and longevity.
What is "time of use" tariff? Businesses, and sometimes residential customers, can have a "time of use" tariff. This is a tariff where you are charged more for peak times (e.g. 7am-11pm Monday to Friday) and much less for offpeak times (11pm-7am and all weekends). Many businesses tend to use most of their electricity from Monday to Friday during these peak times, which helps the business case for solar.
What is kWh and kW? A kWh is the unit of electrical energy which a business is usually charged for on their electricity bill. It might cost around 25c/kWh. A kW is the unit of electrical power, which is how quickly you are using electrical energy. The size of a Solar PV system is also measured in kW. For example a business might have a 10kW Solar PV system made up of 40 x 250W solar panels. An unshaded north facing 10kW Solar PV system will generate around 40kWh/day on average throughout the year, with more in summer and less in winter.
What is a demand tariff? Larger businesses which use more than 100MWh per year of electricity in Queensland get put onto what is called a "demand tariff". Rather than being charged a simple fixed rate for electricity, or being on a "time of use" tariff in c/kWh, a business on a "demand tariff" pays both a c/kWh charge and a $/kW charge. This $/kW charge is known as the demand charge or fee. It is calculated from the peak/highest half hourly usage of electricity demand, measured in kW, in the month. This demand charge can often be around 30% of the total monthly bill. A solar PV system can save money in two ways. It can reduce the energy (kWh) that a business needs to buy from the grid and depending on when the peak occurs, it can also make savings on the demand charges (kW). Local Power will analyse your detailed electricity usage to help you understand the business case for solar in your specific circumstances.