Go solar to save £5bn, businesses told

UK businesses could be saving more than £5bn a year in electricity bills by installing fully-funded rooftop photovoltaic (PV) systems on the roofs of commercial buildings, according to PV provider Kingspan Energy. It says that installing solar PV on 61% of the country’s 2,500km2 of south-facing commercial roof space would meet the total current electricity demand of the UK.

The company has produced a study, Cutting costs: The energy potential of UK commercial rooftops, using government figures and performance data from existing UK PV installations. The study finds British businesses of all sizes consumed 199,738GWh of electricity last year. Based on the average cost per kWh to UK businesses, this translates to a total bill of some £20.4bn.

The average British business with a half-hourly meter (effectively any medium-sized business or larger) could save £31,147 on annual electricity bills. Kingspan Energy says the total potential saving of using its fully-funded solution would be equal to 12.97% of the UK’s annual corporation tax bill – the equivalent to a cut in the corporation tax rate of 2.72%, from 21% to 18.28%.

Kingspan Insulation has installed a 2.5MWp system at its manufacturing plant in Selby, North Yorkshire. The system was installed as part of a wider programme of energy efficiency measures designed to make the company a net-zero energy business. The measures, which include a new energy-efficient roof and an LED lighting upgrade alongside the PV system, are expected to save 79.2GWh at the site over 25 years.

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