Whether because of environmental concerns or to provide a buffer against volatile wholesale energy rates, installations of solar photovoltaics (PV) rose significantly in 2022.  This technology isn’t just for homeowners, either. In this article, we explore some of the business benefits of installing onsite renewable generation. 

Save on your energy bills 

Rates remain high across the energy industry, with wholesale energy prices more than double what they were before the energy crisis started in autumn 2021. 

Business energy rates aren’t covered by the same type of regulations as domestic energy contracts, such as the Ofgem energy price cap. And while additional government support for households was announced in summer 2021, the equivalent scheme for businesses – the Energy Bill Relief Scheme – wasn’t announced until October.  

So, rather than being entirely dependent on buying electricity, generating it onsite can make your business more self-sufficient. Using your own electricity can also shield you from some of the volatility of wholesale energy price changes and changeable levels of government support.  

What’s more, the UK’s most popular technology for onsite generation, solar PV, is cheaper than it was even five years ago. On average, larger systems cost around £1,000 per kW of installed capacity. Domestic arrays are typically up to 4kw, whereas larger commercial arrays could be 10kW or more, depending on your needs. 
With electricity prices remaining high, solar installs advise that homes and businesses can both expect to get a return on the cost of installing solar within 3-5 years. Bear in mind that your payback period depends on various factors, including your contract rates, your electricity demand, and how much of your solar electricity you’re able to use. To use more of the electricity you generate, consider a system that includes battery storage as well. 

Shift your usage to off-peak times 

If you’re on a half-hourly contract – or are able to switch to a multi-rate electricity contract with lower rates at off-peak times – battery storage can help you shift some of your energy usage and save. This is because you could charge up your battery during cheaper off-peak times, then use electricity from the battery rather than the grid during peak-rate periods.  

Sell electricity 

Depending on the capacity of your solar array you may generate more than you need to use onsite. This means that as well as saving on your energy bills, you can sell electricity to a supplier like Good Energy. 

If your asset has a capacity of up to 250kW, you can choose a contract for smaller generators. We’re also developing new export tariffs to enable even more households and businesses to get paid for their power. 

If you’re generating more than 250kW, you can explore our Power Purchase Agreements. These pay you market rates for your electricity, with contracts of up to three years. 

“Of the energy that we produce on this site, around 40% is used running the plant, running the buildings […] the rest we sell to Good Energy”.   


Cut your carbon emissions 

Over half of the UK’s FTSE 100 companies have signed up to a UN campaign to eliminate their contribution to climate change by 2050. But when looking at the UK business community as a whole, less than one third have published a decarbonisation strategy. One of the key reasons cited – especially among smaller firms – is feeling unsure about what steps can be taken.  

Thankfully, as well as reducing your bills, installing onsite generation will directly reduce carbon emissions from your energy usage. It also means you’ll be contributing to adding more renewable electricity to the UK’s fuel mix, which is essential for combatting climate change.  


How Pollybell Organic Farms made their operations more sustainable 

Set on the Lapwing Estate, Pollybell Organic Farms installed a wind turbine and an innovative floating solar farm to make their operations more sustainable. The renewable electricity is used to power the farm’s picking, packing and chilling operations, with the rest sold for the consumer electricity market. 

“We were able to halve our operational farming emissions […] that’s all part of the journey that every sector has to go through to get to net zero”. 

James Brown, owner of Pollybell Organic Farms

Get more advice about setting a net zero strategy on our blog.

Positive effects of improving your business’s sustainability 

The most recent BEIS Public Attitudes Tracker demonstrates that 83% of the UK population are concerned about climate change, with 45% ‘very concerned’. Taking action to directly reduce your carbon emissions is a tangible way to demonstrate that you’re committed to sustainability. This could make your business more appealing to consumers, supply chain partners, and existing and potential employees. 

Which businesses can generate and store electricity? 

“Good Energy installs solar panels through Wessex ECOEnergy, an established solar panel installer that became part of Good Energy Group in 2023. Wessex is based in Dorset and is MCS, RECC and Tesla Energy Certified, with a strong reputation for high-quality service and installation standards.