Home-grown renewable energy: beneficial?

Posted on 27 May 2011 by The Manufacturer

Renewable energy specialist EOS Energy has launched a new scheme where customers have access to free photovoltaic solar panel systems for their businesses.

The company’s new scheme offers free fitting, maintenance and insurance of the roof top system, with the occupant receiving all electricity that the system generates free of charge for the 25 year period of operation. It includes roof rental, where suitable yields can be obtained.

During the 25-year period the panels themselves will be owned by a green funding company, who will recoup their investment through payments generated from the feed in tariff. For an explanation of these tariffs, go here. After the 25 year period the panels will become the full property of the customer.

Alumet and EOS managing director Gary Summers said: “This is a great opportunity for [companies] to benefit from renewable technologies without the initial outlay.”

“Each roof top would have to be assessed to ensure that they are suitable and, in accordance with the REAL Scheme, we would provide a quotation explaining what it would cost to buy the system [and] what feed-in-tariff would be generated,” he added.

Some have cast doubt upon this type of scheme, however. Lawyer Fiona McNulty, writing in the London Evening Standard pointed out some of the pitfalls: “For a start, you can’t store energy when you are not in the property.” This poses the obvious question of how much free electricity you would actually get. Also, she highlighted on the potential problems of putting off buyers when leasing property for a certain period of time. Lastly, she asks: “Who will remove the panels at the end of the term; when and how will the company obtain access (through your house/building), and who pays repairs?”

This could have repercussions on selling the lease if a manufacturer owned or leased a site.