Because most Kiwi businesses operate during daylight hours they offer the perfect conditions to harness free, renewable energy from solar power.
One of the biggest hurdles to overcome when deciding to install a grid-connected solar generating system is adapting power usage to coincide with power generation but in the case of a daytime-running operation, that hurdle doesn’t exist. In fact, you can see a return on your investment very quickly.
And that’s because companies which invest in solar panels are able to use freely generate power at their peak consumption times and reap clear rewards to their bottom line when it comes to power bills.
An Otago University Energy Cultures 2015 study into small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in New Zealand revealed that their electricity bills far outstripped other costs to business – including petrol and diesel for transport. It also showed that electricity is the dominant source of energy for heating and cooling the workspace, mainly through heat pumps or plug-in heaters.
And it’s clear that companies are looking at ways to cut this constant drain on their bottom line: 83% of those surveyed for the report agreed or strongly agreed that they are interested in new ways to save money or profit from electricity.
New Zealand businesses aren’t just interested in the proven eco-benefits of solar power – they also see it as an investment that gives them the ability to have a reliable power supply, control their power usage and future-proof their energy generation.
And because systems come with the full visibility offered by cloud-based monitoring, fault detection and automatic alerts, it’s also a smart way to run a major cost to the company.
Harrisons Energy has worked alongside a number of SMEs to determine the best way they can start to make energy savings through solar systems. We have worked with a range of companies within the rural sector and small professional business, such as law firms, helping them to reduce their daytime grid-supplied electricity bill for heating and lighting office space.
Francine Shields manages Whangarei’s SPCA and looks after around 4000 animals a year. As well as wanting to be environmentally friendly, she was keen to work with Harrisons Energy to reduce their power bill.
“Anything I can do to reduce the money that’s spent on the running of the centre, such as utilities, I will endeavour to look at,” she said.
She was impressed with Harrisons because we were able to install the solar system with very little disruption to their business activities - an insight that comes from having a long history of working with companies and understanding what's important to them.
Another happy customer was Judith Howe from Gladstone Primary School in the Auckland suburb of Mt Albert. The local community and the school’s management team jointly decided that they wanted to install solar as a way to both be more environmentally sustainable and also as an educational tool to help pupils learn about energy generation and consumption. They scoped the project and Harrisons Energy Solutions was chosen to provide the solar system which included 108 solar panels.
Judith said the school was pleased to have fitted a smart and future-proofed system of individually wired solar panels “so if any need attention or maintenance down the track it will be very easy to do so. It seemed such an obvious thing to do”.