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Valuing the return on solar electricity projects for your business

Electricity prices have increased considerably over the last couple of years, culminating in higher operational costs for businesses. Fortunately the cost of solar electricity (photovoltaic) systems have decreased, making solar PV a cost effective alternative for businesses. The up-front costs of a solar system might require a large amount of capital, but the payback periods are usually about 10 years or less. The acquisition of a solar electricity system will allow for lower energy costs and will protect you from future price hikes. Below is a couple of points to consider before buying a solar PV system

Top five tips for purchasing Solar PV

Car park roof used for Solar electricity.

Roof of a car park used to mount the solar Pv panels.

Understand your business’ electricity usage and choose the correct size system that will facilitate all your needs.

The amount of energy consumed will establish the viability of solar PV for your business and the size that is needed. An easy way to measure and analyse your energy usage is by installing the Power-Star online energy meter. This device measures your consumption and sends the data to our servers where you can view your energy use profile in real-time. By doing this you can accurately determine what size system will make sense for your business.

Having a good grasp of your current and available electricity tariffs and the inevitable changes.

Before installing solar PV, you should understand the current tariff you are on as well as those available to you. The tariff structure will have a direct influence on the decision to implement a solar electricity generation project. Having all the necessary information regarding your electricity tariffs is critical to making an informed decision. The information can be obtained by your local council or third parties with an extensive tariff database.

Find a reputable solar electricity panel retailer and installer

Check the company’s credentials and make sure that they are accredited by the correct agencies. In South Africa it will be agencies like: SAPVIA (South African Photovoltaic Industry Association), SANEA (the South African National Energy Association), SESSA (Sustainable Energy Society of Southern Africa) as well the Department of Energy Republic of South Africa. Using the best company for commercial solar electricity installations is paramount to the success of the project.

Businesses being powered by  Solar electricity

A business being powered by roof mounted PV panels.

Do your homework when it comes to the technology being used, the available products, warranties as well as guarantees

With such a variety of products and services on the market and the abundance of competition, prices and quality will differ. Take your time in assessing and choosing the correct products and services, be sure to look out for workmanship guarantees as well.

Connect with your energy supplier early in the project, so that you can understand the grid connection requirements

Your electricity supplier should be made aware of the upcoming project, as early as possible. When your electricity supplier is aware of your project, you can then work in partnership in order to comply to necessary regulations and by installing the correct hardware.

These tips will allow you to make an informed decision pertaining to purchasing of a solar electricity system.

Call Power-Star today for more advice.

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