IT PAYS TO BE GREEN
Monday, 02 October 2017
The CEO of Beattie, The Integrated Communications Agency, has announced that one of the company’s best investments of the last five years has been… sunshine.
As one of the first creative agencies in the UK to fit solar panels, Laurna Woods has revealed the business has earned more than its money back from selling surplus energy to the National Grid – and gets free electricity to its office in Central Scotland.
She said: “We have 51 panels on the roof of our Falkirk office. They cost us £19,136 to install but after five years, we have earned £19,844 from selling surplus energy to the National Grid.
“That, of course does not include the free electricity we’ve been using to power our Falkirk office.”
The solar panels have brought £5,182 worth of free energy to the office in the last four quarters – almost half of the annual electricity bill for the building.
Which is fitting for a company which uses a lightbulb design on its website banner, and presents its most creative staff with a lightbulb award.
Britain is currently fourth in the European solar panel league, with 1.5 million homes fitted with photovoltaic systems. And statistics show that it is not the heat but the length of daylight hours that is the key to generation. Households in Britain have paid up to £15bn in recent years to harness sunshine.
Installing today will result in a much lower feed-in tariff rate, since the government cut rates in 2015. But panels should still give a return on investment – giving solar panel owners 4.07p per unit of energy generated, as well as an export tariff of 5.03p per unit deemed to have been exported to the National Grid. Both tariffs are increased in line with the retail prices index and will be paid for 20 years.
Beattie’s announcement comes in the week Doctor Who star Peter Capaldi launched a new campaign backing offshore wind as the future of UK energy, saying it “may just save the planet”. Greenpeace UK said renewable energy was more popular with the British public than any of the alternatives.