Looking to get the feed-in tariff (FiT) for your renewable generation system? If you are a company, a public body or if your organisation is classified outside the remit of a domestic property then you will need have a few elements ticked off before you are benefiting from this Government subsidy. Just like a domestic property, you will need a valid EPC to get the payments registered for the system that is installed.

Just to note the FiT can be paid out against various renewable electricity generation technologies, including solar PV, micro-hydroelectric, wind turbines and CHP systems.

Differences for businesses claiming the Feed In Tariff (FiT)

From the start of the process there don’t appear to be any real distinctions made for businesses applying for the tariff, but there are several points that are more likely to apply to a commercial over a residential application, and they are summarised below:

  • You will need a commercial EPC rather than a domestic EPC if you are getting the panels on a commercial premises, school, place of worship or any other non-domestic building;
  • The rates paid as part of the generation tariff decrease with larger systems;
  • Businesses with multiple installations at various sites may receive a reduced rate.

What is a commercial EPC?

A commercial EPC is a certificate issued to a non-domestic property, giving the property an energy rating and an outline of energy efficiency improvements that could be carried out, as highlighted in the recommendation report. The cost of the EPC will vary depending on the type and size of the property, and they are a little different and generally more expensive than a domestic EPC.

How much can I earn from the Feed in Tariff?

A commercial property is more likely to have a larger PV or a hydroelectric system than a domestic property. Related to solar PV the property will often be larger and have bigger roof space (although not always) and it will often require more energy than a domestic property, especially during daylight hours when PV is most effective and tends to be used on-site.

Imagine an office block running air-conditioning all day and other office equipment to service the day-to-day running of the business. Clearly there is much more energy used used here than an average domestic property, especially during daylight hours when most people are at work! It means that a system like solar PV is a great option for businesses, and the larger the system the more energy that can be saved from not having to buy from the grid.

To access the latest solar PV FiT rates – for standard, lower and the export tariff please click onto the latest table on the OFGEM website.

To access the latest solar PV FiT rates – for standard, lower and the export tariff please click onto the latest table on the OFGEM website.

Just like with domestic properties, you will need a D rating or higher on your EPC to get the standard FiT rate. If your EPC is lower, you will only get the lower rate (refer to the detailed OFGEM tables). This is not applicable for wind turbines.

The rates go down appreciably with larger systems, but they are very large systems. You need about 4 panels to generate a kW of power, so anything over a 16 panel system is likely to fall in to the 4-10kW range. You would need 40 meter square panels to get up to a 10kW system, at a cost of around £15,000 or more, so chances are most business will fall into the 2 lower tiers, unless you have some serious roof space.

Do solar PV systems work for business?

Solar pays back within 8-10 years of installation, which usually falls within the period businesses would consider worthwhile. For some businesses who would use close to 100% of the energy generated (I.e. those with high base loads during daylight hours such as offices and shops), the payback may be even quicker. Unfortunately, the feed in tariff is paid over 20 years, for both residential properties and business – which most businesses don’t tend to budget for. There are plenty of businesses that will benefit however, so give us a call and see if it is worth getting solar pv for your business.