FAQ: Commercial Solar Panels

Everything you need to know about commercial solar panel installation in Sydney

Are you ready to reduce your energy bills and carbon footprint by installing solar panels at your Sydney commercial property, office block, café, petrol station and more?

Here are some commercial solar panel frequently asked questions, and our answers.

  1. Why should I choose solar panels for my Sydney business premises?

Rising energy costs in Sydney can impact your bottom line and strain your cash flow. Commercial solar panels are a great investment that can help protect your cash flow which is a benefit for any business.

Moving towards responsible, clean energy use, your business or commercial establishment can reduce its carbon footprint and benefit the environment in the process. Going solar also enhances your company’s ‘clean and green’ reputation, with the added bonus of decreasing energy costs and reducing your reliance on fossil fuels.

  1. Will I be financially better off getting solar power?

In the vast majority of cases, investing in solar panels for power will help reduce your electricity bills by reducing the amount of power you buy from the grid and through the feed-in tariff you receive for the excess power you sell to the grid. The amount of electricity you generate will depend upon a range of factors including the size of the system, whether the system has been installed in the optimal location and your individual electricity use patterns.

  1. What size solar system will I need to run my business?

Every Sydney business is unique with both your electricity usage as well as your roof design on your café, petrol station, office, etc. Here at Lynton Electrical, we always look at your historic usage to ensure that you get the right-sized system that will suit your commercial needs in Sydney.

  1. How much do typical commercial solar panels cost?

There are generally different commercial solar pricing levels, which depend on the brand you chose, as well as the system type. The actual cost will also depend on the size and complexity of the installation, as well as what federal government incentives (such as STCs/LGCs) and local government grants/schemes are available.

Don’t worry – at Lynton Electrical, we will provide you with a full quote for you to consider so you always know how much the investment in solar panels in Sydney will be.

  1. What Government financial incentives are available for solar power?

The Federal Government’s financial incentives for solar power in community organisations and small businesses is the Small-scale Renewable Energy Scheme (SRES). Under this scheme, a solar power system can create Small-scale Technology Certificates (STCs) that may be sold to partially offset the price of the system. STCs have replaced the former Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs).

Our Lynton Electrical team can explain this more to help you access Australian Government solar panel grants.

  1. What is a feed-in tariff?

A feed-in tariff is the amount your electricity retailer pays you for any electricity your Sydney solar system generates that you don’t use and is fed back into the grid. Feed-in tariffs differ depending on where you live.

  1. How long will it take for a solar power system to pay for itself?

The ROI period of a solar power system varies widely depending on the initial investment for the system, the size of the system, the usage patterns of your business premises and the price received as a feed-in tariff from the energy retailer.

For Sydney commercial premises that use small amounts of electricity and receive the premium feed-in tariff, the ROI period can be less than 3 years. For premises that use a lot of electricity and are not eligible for the premium feed-in tariff, the payback period will be closer to 7 years.

  1. How much electricity will I generate?

The amount of electricity that your property can generate depends on the size of your solar panel system, which way it is facing, whether there is any shading from trees or other buildings and the local climatic conditions. One of our friendly Lynton Electrical team members can provide an indication of the average generation a Solar Energy System will provide for your business or commercial property.

  1. How long does it take to install solar panels?

Systems with straightforward layouts usually can have about 20 panels installed per day. For trickier roof layouts, the installation will likely take extra time.

At Lynton Electrical, we can scan your roof and give you a full timeframe so you know how long it will take to install your commercial solar panels at your Sydney property.

  1. How much money will I save on my electricity bill?

Given that most Sydney businesses are open during the day only, and therefore the majority of their electricity usage is during daylight hours, we typically expect business owners to be saving 70%-90% off their electricity bills.

  1. What types of buildings are compatible with solar panels?

Nearly all Sydney commercial buildings like petrol stations, offices and retail shops are compatible with solar panels, so long as the roof is structurally sound and has enough space to accommodate panels and racking. For smaller commercial facilities with limited roof space, ground mounts or solar carports are a good alternative. You must own the building. If you are leasing the facility, the installation would need to be approved by the building owner.

  1. Do commercial solar panels produce power when the sun isn’t shining?

No, solar energy generation is currently dependent on sunlight and can only generate electricity during the day. Other external factors like clouds and shading can affect the generation potential of a system. When paired with an energy storage system (a solar battery), any extra generated energy can be kept and used when needed rather than being used immediately as it is generated.

  1. Do commercial solar panels require regular maintenance?

Provided that the solar panel components we use at Lynton Electrical are manufactured to a high level of quality, there should be very minimal maintenance. The surface of the panels is generally self-cleaning depending on the degree of pitch. It is recommended, however, that you periodically consider a health check to ensure the system will continue to work at its best. You will be provided with a maintenance schedule upon completion of the installation by our Lynton Electrical team.

  1. How long do solar panels last?

Most manufacturers give a 10 to 12-year product warranty, and then a 25-30 year linear performance warranty. This means that there is an expected minimum degradation of the performance of the panels over the 25-year period that the manufacturer will guarantee.

At Lynton Electrical, we guarantee our solar panels and our workmanship for 25 years.

  1. Does roof orientation matter for Sydney solar panels?

Yes, it does. North-facing panels are going to be exposed to sunlight for most of the day. If you don’t have a Northern-oriented roof line, that’s ok. Panels installed facing West or East will also generate plenty of electricity.

  1. Do commercial solar panels add value to a business property?

If you own the property you are working from, definitely.

Commercial solar panels make an excellent selling point if you ever decide to sell your business or building.

  1. Will it help the environment if I get solar power?

Commercial solar, like other renewable energy resources, has many environmental benefits. Businesses can reduce greenhouse gas emissions by using solar energy to offset their electricity use, which in turn, reduces air pollutants like sulphur dioxide and particulate matter produced through typical electricity generation.

  1. How do I know if solar is right for my business?

One of our friendly commercial solar consultants at Lynton Electrical will complete a no-obligation assessment that will explore your solar feasibility and existing energy usage. You will receive a comprehensive proposal from us that will include a detailed solar energy yield analysis, expected savings and ROI calculation – designed to give you all the information you need to make an informed decision.

  1. If my energy requirements increase, can I upgrade the system?

Depending on the system initially chosen, there may be a capacity to increase the size of the solar panel. The main factor is the brand and initial size of your inverter.

If needed, we can always upgrade your inverter with new panels.

  1. Can I insure the commercial solar panels?

Most business insurance companies will cover the solar power electric system as part of your business insurance. We recommend that you call your insurance company prior to having the system installed to notify them and have it added to the insurance.

  1. What happens with grid-connected solar panels during a blackout?

A typical grid-connected solar power system won’t work during a blackout because the inverter will automatically disconnect from the power supply to avoid electrocution. It means you won’t be able to access electricity or send power to the grid.

To have a solar power system that can run your business even during a blackout, you need to invest in a commercial solar system with a battery and off-grid backup capabilities. Our Lynton Electrical team can tell you more about this and we’re able to install this off-grid solar system at your commercial site if you want it.

  1. How do I know I am getting a quality solar system with Lynton Electrical?

Lynton Electrical is a Clean Energy Council-approved solar retailer. We only use panels, inverters and battery storage systems that have been approved by the Clean Energy Council and meet the Australian Standards for use in the design and installation of solar systems.

All our products come with industry-leading product and performance warranties; and we offer a 25-year warranty on installation, parts and workmanship.

  1. Are there any hidden costs or unexpected expenses?

Hidden costs may mean that the return on investment could take longer than you expect. Summer and winter months are also very different in terms of energy output, so that needs to be factored in. In saying this, we pride ourselves on keeping our customers informed with reasonable expectations on their investment from the outset.

As for unexpected expenses, it will depend largely on the condition of your roof and electrical meter/switchboards.

  1. Will there be any interruption to our business operations during or after installation?

Most of the time, any interruption is minimal. However, if you’re in a space where noise can affect productivity then yes, the drilling can be quite loud and may cause interruption until the installation is complete.

We will always discuss with you the best time to conduct work to minimise any disruption.

  1. What if my Sydney commercial property isn’t suited to solar panelling?

Not every business is a good prospect for solar. Rest assured that at Lynton Electrical, we will do our best to help you make an informed decision.

Some criteria include:

  • The time of day your business operates (i.e., during sunlight hours)
  • The structural integrity, footprint sizing, and any existing damage to the roof.
  • The amount of sunlight your roof receives during sunlight hours