Study Reveals Potential £5bn Annual Cost Savings from Commercial Rooftop Solar PV

A study from Kingspan Energy reveals UK businesses could save over £5bn per year in electricity bills by installing fully-funded rooftop PV systems on commercial roofs. Installing solar PV on just 61% of the country’s 2,500km2 of south-facing commercial roof space would meet the total current electricity demand of UK plc.

“The economic case for solar PV is clear, especially with the removal of the capital cost barrier from the equation. The immediate savings produced by adopting commercial rooftop PV can only increase the competitiveness of UK businesses. When you consider the increased savings over time compared with the grid, the opportunity becomes even more compelling,” said Gilbert McCarthy, Managing Director of Kingspan Insulated Panels.

The study, compiled by Kingspan Energy’s technical team using Government figures and performance data from existing UK PV installations, shows 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 approximately £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. The total potential saving of using Kingspan’s 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%.

Amber Rudd MP, Minister for Energy and Climate Change, said: “Our solar strategy sets out our ambition for the growth of solar on roofs and brownfield sites and, as Kingspan has identified in its own research, the benefits from solar to business are huge. Their rooftop array – one of the largest in the UK – shows how companies can benefit, by cutting costs and reducing emissions.”

Amber Rudd was speaking at the launch of the UK’s largest rooftop solar renovation project at Kingspan Insulation’s manufacturing plant in Selby, North Yorkshire. The 2.5MWp system was installed as part of a wider programme of energy efficiency measures designed to make Kingspan Insulation a Net-Zero Energy business – one that generates as much electricity as it consumes over the course of a year - by 2020. 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; enough to power almost 7,000 homes.

Download Kingspan Energy Study PDF