If you're looking for a way to not only make your business look more responsible in the eyes of the public, but also to rake in a little extra profit, then investigating the possibilities of producing your own electricity might not be a bad idea.

With increased profit and proof of your business's dedication towards sustainability, the installation of solar photo-voltaic (PV) panels should be on your list of considerations.

Why Bother?

Why would you want to do this? Two simple reasons: money and reputation. Generating even a small amount of electricity can bring profits to companies, both by getting paid by energy companies to produce power (even the electricity you use yourself gets paid for) and receiving breaks on electricity bills.

Depending on your local power supplier, these earnings and discounts can add up fast, particularly for businesses that have a large amount of suitable space for panelling. The other consideration is your reputation. In a world that's increasingly aware of environmental issues, promoting sustainability is now of huge importance to many businesses, and is also reflected in consumer choices.

Government Funding

In addition to this, the government is now actively encouraging the installation of solar panels in order to reduce the country's carbon footprint. This means that there are instances where companies can get free installation and equipment, or steeply discounted installation, funded by government money.

Not all businesses will qualify, but this funding does look likely to increase over time, as the government pours more money into renewable energy resources.

What is Involved?

In order to install PV panels, you will need ideally a south facing roof space that gets no shade. However, since very few properties have completely ideal locations, installation companies are relatively flexible about installing panels in other areas.

Panels still produce a good amount of power even when not in direct sunlight, so lack of ideal placement should not be a negating factor in your decision.

Maintenance and upkeep should be minimal once panels have been installed, with little extra cost associated with them after initial start up costs. Panels are self cleaning if properly installed, and have no moving parts that require maintenance.

You may want to consider employing a specialised renewable energy consult to make sure that you get the best return on your investments. This is a growing field of specialists who help manage renewable energy installations to make sure that businesses are receiving all grants and funding that they are eligible for, and that they have the most competitive agreements with power companies.

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It may initially seem a strange idea that your company would produce its own power. However, there is growing interest in this concept, particularly with new government funded schemes to help promote it.

Sponsored Feed In Tariffs mean that you are guaranteed an index-linked return on your investment for twenty years. In fact, average estimates of rate of return on investment hover around the ten to fifteen percent mark, which is a pretty hefty chunk in today's markets.

There is no catch here, it truly is an excellent way to improve environmental visibility and profit. Don't let your company be left behind, compare business electricity costs using any of the comparison tools available online by all means but there is no better deal than making your own electricity.