FAQs – Introduction

What is Funded Solar?
Funded Solar from Kingspan ESB is a rooftop solar photovoltaic (PV) system for businesses. Kingspan ESB provides the funding to design, install and maintain the PV system on your business roof. In return, the business owner provides us with a 25 year rooftop lease and agrees to purchase the electricity generated on the roof at a discounted rate through a power purchase agreement (PPA).

How will Funded Solar benefit my business?
You will benefit from reduced electricity bills and by fixing a portion of your energy costs for 25 years. The PPA enables you to purchase all of the electricity generated on your roof at a fixed price. This price is RPI index linked, so it is not subject to regular increases in electricity prices. Funded Solar means you can effectively fix a portion of your energy costs for 25 years and hedge against increasing electricity prices. You will also benefit from generating green electricity without any upfront capital cost and without any ongoing maintenance costs.

Do solar panels work well in our climate?
Yes, solar panels are a well developed technology, receiving their energy from solar radiation. Direct sunlight is not required as even on cloudy days there is enough light for the panels to produce electricity. The orientation of the panels affects performance with southern facing panels producing more electricity than those facing north.

How much electricity can be generated on my business’s roof?
That depends on the size of the roof, its orientation and obstructions such as chimneys and roof lights. By way of guidance, a 1,000 m2 roof can house approximately 100 kW of solar PV panels. A 100 kW system generates 80,000 to 100,000 kWh per year.

What is a kWh?
A kilowatt hour (kWh) is a unit of electrical energy. 1 kWh is equivalent to 1 unit of electricity that is shown on your electricity bill. An electrical appliance with a power rating of 1kW will consume 1kWh for every hour it is operating at full power.

What are the upfront costs my business will face?
You will not have to pay any of the capital costs for installing the solar PV system. Kingspan ESB will apply and pay for the grid and planning applications. You will have to pay legal fees to administer the lease and PPA on your side. There may be costs associated with the grid connection depending on your location. Should a grid upgrade cost be required you have the option to pay it and proceed or withdraw your interest at no penalty to you.

How much carbon can I expect to offset through installing a solar PV system?
A 100 kW solar PV system generates sufficient zero-carbon electricity to offset approximately 40-50 tonnes of CO2 each year.

Do I need planning permission?
In Northern Ireland, planning permission is required only for solar PV systems above 50kW. In the Republic of Ireland, all solar PV systems require planning permission. We will be able to confirm for you what the planning requirements are for your building. Should you decide to go ahead with Funded Solar we will apply for planning permission, at no cost to you.

Will the solar PV system affect my insurance costs and cover?
The system installation should not affect your insurance cover. You will need to notify your insurer that you are having the system installed but Kingspan ESB insures the solar PV equipment as we are the owner of the system.