Solar on commercial roofs has always lagged behind the domestic rooftop market. Currently, less than 5% of UK solar installations are on commercial roofs, compared to approximately 94% of systems installed on homes. Commercial properties have large, generally unused roofs, and account for about 8% of the UK’s energy consumption. Installing solar can make sound economic sense; it reduces carbon emissions, offsets the need to purchase peak time electricity from the grid, and helps to insulate companies from future electricity price fluctuations. So why the low take-up of solar in this sector?
There are a number of reasons, some of which are client led, such as financing, ownership issues and roof suitability. Another reason is that the extremities of the solar market (domestic and ground mounted) have been so buoyant over the past few years that some installers/ developers have not had the time to refine their proposition for commercial clients. Now is the ideal time for the solar industry to diversify their offer and use their experience to overcome barriers to solar on commercial roofs.
BRE National Solar Centre and the Renewable Energy Association (REA) are launching a new guide that looks at the key issues and provides a range of options for successful project delivery including: considerations for design, contractual arrangements and financing options. A financial model will be accompanying the guide and will be available to download for free from the BRE National Solar Centre website.
‘Solar PV on commercial buildings: a guide for owners and developers’ will be launched at the Solar PV Summit in London on the 19th July 2016. To book your place at the event where you can receive your free copy of the new guide please visit https://www.solarpvsummit.com/.
 DECC, Solar Photovoltaic Deployment in the UK, May 2016
 Property Industry Alliance, Property Data Report 2015
 DECC, UK Solar PV Strategy Part 2, 2014