A study from Kingspan Energy reveals UK businesses could save more than £5 billion (US$8 billion) per year in electricity bills by installing rooftop solar photovoltaic (PV) systems on commercial roofs. Installing PV on just 61% of the country’s 2500 km2 of south-facing commercial roof space would meet the total current electricity demand of the UK’s business sector, the study concludes.

The study, compiled by Kingspan Energy’s technical team using government figures and performance data from existing UK PV installations, shows British businesses consumed 199,738 GWh of electricity in 2013. Based on the average cost per kWh to UK businesses, this translates to a total bill of approximately £20.4 billion. The average British business with a half-hourly meter (effectively any medium-sized business or larger) could save £31,147 on annual electricity bills using Kingspan’s fully-funded solution.

‘The economic case for solar PV is clear, especially with the removal of the capital cost barrier from the equation. The immediate savings produced by adopting commercial rooftop PV can only increase the competitiveness of UK businesses. When you consider the increased savings over time compared with the grid, the opportunity becomes even more compelling,’ said Gilbert McCarthy, managing director of Kingspan Insulated Panels.

Amber Rudd MP, Minister for Energy and Climate Change, speaking at the launch of a 2.5 MWp rooftop solar project at Kingspan Insulation’s manufacturing plant in Selby, North Yorkshire, said: ‘Kingspan has identified in its own research, the benefits from solar to business are huge.’