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How Much Can I Save With a Commercial Solar Installation?

Written by Jo Kaptein, Technical Content Writer

Most businesses stand to save thousands of dollars a year on electricity with a commercial solar installation.  Solar is an excellent investment for any commercial organisation, providing they operate from premises where there’s electricity usage from 9-5pm, at least five days a week. 

At current electricity rates, a 100kW solar system will save around $20,000 a year on electricity costs.  This assumes the business uses around 80 per cent of its solar electricity and exports the rest to the grid. Most businesses operating 9-5pm can achieve 80 per cent self-consumption of solar electricity with the right size system.

The actual amount your business can save with a commercial solar system will depend on several factors: your electricity tariff, the size of the system, the percentage of solar power used in your business, and your location.

As your business explores the potential of commercial solar installations and the substantial savings they can bring, Energy Matters offers valuable insights into renewable energy solutions. Understanding the specific benefits for your business is crucial, and Energy Matters can assist you in this journey. To get a better understanding of the potential savings and benefits, you can even get free solar quotes online.

In this article, you’ll find out the typical annual savings for different size commercial solar systems in Brisbane.  The savings are based on today’s electricity prices. Plus, you’ll learn what the projected future electricity savings from commercial solar are likely to be if the 56 per cent price hike predicted in the federal government’s latest budget comes about.

If your business is located in other cities in Australia – like Sydney, Perth, Melbourne or Adelaide – this article is also relevant.  The good news is the savings your business could expect with a commercial solar system will be even higher than a system in Brisbane, quite simply because you get more sunshine!

How much can I save with a 40 kW commercial solar system

At current electricity rates of around 18 cents per kilowatt hour for mid-size commercial users, you could expect to save around $8,000 a year on electricity costs with a 40 kW solar system in Brisbane.  A 40kW system would suit a business using around 100kWh to 140kWh of electricity on average every day, with most of that usage during daylight hours.

How much can I save with a 40 kW commercial solar system
Modelling assumptions at end of article

These savings increase to around $12,600 a year if the predicted 56 per cent electricity price rise bumps up the daytime usage tariff to 28 cents per kilowatt hour.  Clearly, paying these inflated prices for electricity is the last thing your business wants.  So, the best way to avoid these price hikes is to use as much as possible of your self-generated solar electricity in the business (self-consumption) and minimise the amount drawn from the grid.  

How much can I save with a 100 kW commercial solar system

A 100 kW commercial solar system is suitable for businesses using between 260 kWh to 360kWh of electricity a day.  Because larger businesses can generally negotiate a better tariff structure with their electricity retailer, we’ve modelled the savings on a daytime electricity grid usage rate of 17 cents per kilowatt hour.  So, if your business can utilise around 280 kWh (or 80%) of the solar electricity generated by the system as it is being produced, the savings work out at just over $19,000 a year.  And if the projected price hikes kick in, the savings shoot up 50 per cent to around $29,000.

How much can I save with a 100 kW commercial solar system
Modelling assumptions at end of article

How much can I save with a 200 kW commercial solar system

Based on the same assumptions as the 100 kW system (i.e., a daytime grid electricity rate of 17c/kWh), the savings from installing a 200 kW commercial solar system are around $38,400 based on 80% self-consumption.  These savings increase to around $58,000 if the predicted rise in grid electricity prices happen.  These are massive savings – and clearly very attractive.  But what’s the payback?

How much can I save with a 200 kW commercial solar system
Modelling assumptions at end of article

Payback on commercial solar systems

The ballpark cost of a 100 kW commercial solar system is around $90,000 to $100,000 after the federal government rebate, known as Small-scale Technology Certificates or STCs – is deducted.  So, at current grid electricity prices, the typical payback on a 100 kW solar system in Brisbane around 4 to 5 years.  But if the price rises occur as predicted, the payback shortens to around three years.

This is impressive.  But for businesses in our sunnier states – like Queensland and NSW, the payback is even quicker.  Right now, the payback on a 100 kW commercial solar system in Sydney is slightly over 4 years.  And if the electricity price increases happen as expected, the payback will reduce to around 3 years.

Protect your business from spiralling electricity prices

The takeaway message from this number crunching is that commercial solar installations can provide a great return on investment right now.  The other key message is that the higher electricity prices rise, the more your business can save with a commercial solar system.

Now is a great time to install a commercial solar system on your business, regardless of where you are based in Australia.  Getting your system installed now means benefitting from commercial solar rebates at their current higher levels.  Plus, you’re prepared for whatever the future brings.

Get in touch today for 3 FREE quotes from commercial solar companies we’ve pre-qualified and vetted for their track record of delivering the best commercial solar systems throughout Australia.  

Savings modelled on 18c/kWh cost of grid electricity for 40kW systems and 17c/kWh cost of electricity for 100kW and 200kW solar systems, as well as 80% self-consumption with the remainder exported to the grid.  Future savings are based on a 56% increase in the cost of grid electricity as predicted in the federal government’s October 2022 budget.  Feed-in tariff is 5.2c/kWh in all examples.

Get a quick solar quote, or contact us today toll free on 1800 EMATTERS or email our friendly team for expert, obligation-free advice!

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