How to Combine Electricity Usage Options to Maximise Solar Carport ROI:

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Discover how to maximize your return on investment by combining different electricity usage options from your solar carport installation.

Understanding ROI in Electricity Usage

When considering the return on investment (ROI) in electricity usage, it is important to understand that the ROI will depend on the chosen option for utilizing the electricity generated by your solar carport installation. On average, payback times vary between 8-15 years.

If you choose to sell the electricity through EV charge points, the payback time might be less. On the other hand, if you decide to sell the electricity back to the grid, the payback time might be more.

It is crucial to consider your specific circumstances and goals to determine the best option for maximizing your ROI. 

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Option 1: Use the electricity yourself

Choosing to use the electricity generated by your solar carport installation yourself is always a good choice. Not only does it reduce operating costs, but it also contributes to reducing your corporate carbon footprint.

By using the electricity yourself, you can save a significant amount of money. Based on an average grid price per kWh of around £0.26 per kWh, you can expect to save £26,000* per 100,000 kWh produced. Additionally, any excess electricity you generate can be either stored in a battery or exported back to the grid.

Using the electricity yourself not only provides financial benefits but also allows you to be more self-sufficient and environmentally conscious.

*cost savings will vary depending on fluctuations in electricity prices

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Option 2: Using the electricity to support EV charging points

Depending on the size of your carport installation, it can likely support EV charging points and help power your building as well. This option offers several advantages:

  • Installing EV charging points is a smart choice as it enables your staff to charge their electric vehicles at work, either for free or for a small charge. This is a major benefit for them and encourages the adoption of electric vehicles.
  • If you provide company cars, using the electricity to support EV charging points allows you to take advantage of the tax benefits that electric cars offer.
  • For retail businesses, installing EV charging points can be another revenue opportunity. It may also help increase customer dwell time at your site, as customers can conveniently charge their electric vehicles while visiting your establishment.

Fast and superfast charge points currently sell electricity at prices ranging between £0.55 and £0.85 per kWh. By selling electricity at an average price of £0.79 per kWh (minimum), you can make £79,000 per 100,000 kWh produced. This option not only provides a good return on investment but also supports the growth of electric vehicles and promotes sustainability.

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Option 3: Sell the electricity back to the grid

If you're producing more electricity than you need and have chosen not to install a battery, you can export the excess energy back to the National Grid via the Smart Export Guarantee (SEG). This option provides a supplementary income, although it doesn't offer as good a return on investment as the other two options.

The rate per kWh for exporting energy back to the grid is set by energy companies and can vary from £0.01 to £0.20. However, to get the best SEG rates, you will also need to be signed up to the energy company's tariff. It is important to note that exporting energy back to the grid requires Distribution Network Operator (DNO) approval - this is the company that manages the electricity network in your area - which can take up to 12 weeks.

Based on an SEG rate of £0.12 per kWh (assuming you aren't already signed up with the same energy company), you can expect to make £12,000 per 100,000 kWh produced. While this option may not provide the highest ROI, it can still be a valuable source of additional income.

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Combining Multiple Options for Maximum ROI

Many people choose to combine multiple electricity usage options for their carport installation to maximize their return on investment. By using the electricity themselves, supporting EV charging points, and selling excess electricity back to the grid, they can optimize their ROI and achieve various benefits.

Combining these options allows for greater flexibility and adaptability to changing energy needs. It also provides diversified income streams and strengthens the overall sustainability profile of your carport installation.

Whether you choose to use the electricity yourself, support EV charging points, sell electricity back to the grid, or a combination of these options, you can expect to receive a return on investment. The best approach depends on your specific circumstances, goals, and priorities.