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Investing in rooftop solar will deliver big returns in 2014, says Savills Energy

Posted on 07 January 2014

With the New Solar Strategy (NSS) set for a spring launch and Decc aiming for commercial and industrial roofs to support around a third of the UK's future solar mix, the opportunity for commercial property owners to exploit rooftop spaces for energy generation has never been greater.

Andrew Dyke, director at Savills Energy, which has already overseen more than 75 successfully completed solar PV rooftop projects, explained why commercial buildings are already being transformed to deliver future energy needs and will be a major platform for growth in solar generation over the next five to 10 years.

"While Greg Barker may describe the commercial rooftop as under-deployed, our experience is that, even before the government gets its act together on solar, we have had to expand our team of experts to address the unprecedented interest in the opportunity that roof top solar represents. Commercial organisations are very driven by the need to look for opportunities to drive out costs and for many the pay-back for solar, regardless of the current Feed-in Tariffs (FiTs) environment, is just too great to ignore. Indeed, we are seeing many owners securing a return on investment (ROI) of as much as 15%.

"However, there are other drivers at play here beyond ROI, with more and more properties looking to diversify their energy supplies in order to better control long-term costs, as well as invest in the technologies that will allow them to comply with the requirement for all commercial buildings to have an EPC rating of E or above from 1 April 2018.

"After facilitating the development of more than 70 MW of solar PV in 2013, we are predicting another year of significant growth in commercial projects. As a company, Savills Energy has invested in its team of advisors to provide the expertise that property owners need to identify, develop and commercialise their rooftop opportunities and achieve valuable commercial benefits."

Giles Hanglin, the Savills Energy director responsible for national coordination of the solar roof top delivery, said: "We welcome the positive noises that are coming out of government about the future of solar. For commercial property owners, solar represents a real opportunity to address the challenge of energy costs and energy efficiency and realise commercial benefits for the long-term."