Moment in the sun

More and more businesses are turning to photovoltaic panels to reduce their energy costs and carbon footprint. Sean Henderson, Managing Director of Sewell Facilities Management, looks at the benefits and drawbacks of solar energy.

One of the most common requests from our clients ask is whether we can help them save them energy and money. Photovoltaic panels often come up in these conversations. Are they really worth the hype, and do they work for everyone? As we tell our clients, there are advantages and disadvantages to everything, and solar panels are no exception.

First, what are the benefits to installing PV panels?

  • Energy costs: This may be obvious, but installing solar panels can save you money on your energy costs. We all know our utility costs have spiralled over the last few years, so why not take advantage of this free source of energy to reduce your dependence on gas and electric heating? It can give you long term savings, and take away some of the shock of energy price hikes.
  • Sustainability: It’s important for us all to reduce our carbon footprints, and solar energy is one of the greenest typs of power around. If you can reduce your dependence on fossil fuels, that’s always a win, and it means you’re also less impacted by global energy fluctuations.
  • Low maintenance: Photovoltaic panels don’t require much maintenance, compared to gas heating systems. As long as they’re kept clean, they should continue to work well for years to come. We can help you ensure your solar energy array is kept in day one condition.
  • Show your commitment to the planet: Having solar panels on your roof is a clear and visible sign of your commitment to the environment and makes your stance on clean energy obvious to staff, customers and other stakeholders.

So, we’ve looked at why you should install PV panels. But surely there must also be some risks to be aware of?

  • Upfront cost: For any new technology, there’s always an upfront cost for the purchase and installation of the panels. However, capital costs are coming down, and as grid energy prices rise, the long-term savings you can make increase
  • Installation can be difficult: Installing solar panels involves working at height and with electricity, so if you’re not skilled in this sort of work, it’s always something you should contract out to skilled professionals, rather than trying to do it in-house.
  • Uncertainty: Working out whether solar panels are financially worthwhile for your business is complicated. Sewell Facilities Management can review your overall business estate and develop a solution which works for you, reducing your environmental impact in a way which suits your specific needs.

We’re all on the road to a greener future, and Sewell Facilities Management want to help get you there. If you want advice on making your estate and facilities more sustainable and resource-efficient, or just want to explore the possibility of getting photovoltaic panels installed in your buildings, get in touch.