12 April 2024
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Energy Ready: Rooftop Solar Guide for Occupiers

To The Point
(4 min read)

Installing solar power has become an increasingly popular choice for property owners looking to reduce their carbon footprint and save on energy costs. Rooftop solar, in particular, offers a range of benefits that make it an attractive option for landlords.


One of the most significant advantages of rooftop solar is its ability to generate 'free' renewable electricity. By harnessing the power of the sun, solar panels can produce electricity for your property without relying on traditional fossil fuels. This not only helps reduce your environmental impact but also offers the potential to save on energy bills or provide certainty over future energy costs.

Rooftop solar can create a revenue stream by allowing you to sell any surplus electricity back to the grid. If your solar panels generate more electricity than your property consumes, you can contribute to the grid and receive compensation for the excess power produced. This additional income can help offset the initial investment in installing the solar system.

You can maximise the benefits of rooftop solar by pairing it with battery storage. Batteries allow you to store excess solar energy generated during the day and use it when the sun is not shining, such as during the night or on especially gloomy days. This ensures that you can make the best use of the solar energy and have a more reliable supply of electricity without having to depend solely on the grid.

Implementing rooftop solar also enhances your property's green credentials and reduces carbon emissions. As sustainability becomes increasingly important to tenants and customers, having a solar-powered property can attract environmentally conscious individuals and businesses.

Power purchase agreement (PPA)

Power can be supplied directly from the solar panels to your property, or you can enter into power purchase agreements (PPAs) with developers. PPAs allow you to benefit from solar energy without the upfront costs of installation. Developers can fund the installation in exchange for purchasing the electricity produced by the solar panels. This arrangement can be particularly beneficial for landlords looking to retrofit solar systems or who prefer not to invest in the infrastructure themselves.

Things to be aware of

When considering rooftop solar, it is important to be aware of the installation and consent process. While solar systems can be designed into new build developments, retrofitting may require reinforcement works on the roof. Additionally, planning permission may be necessary if the solar area exceeds approximately 9m2 or if your property is located in a conservation area. If you are a tenant, you may need landlord consent to make structural changes or sublet the roof space to a solar developer or operator.

If planning permission, is required, this can take time, and there may be delays in installation due to a short supply of solar panels. Return on investment for rooftop solar can also take several years, so it is essential to consider the financial implications before proceeding.

How Addleshaw Goddard can help

At Addleshaw Goddard, we have extensive experience advising landlords on rooftop solar projects. For example, we assisted a vehicle manufacturer in implementing rooftop solar, battery storage, and Europe's largest solar car-port. The project aimed to supply as much renewable energy as possible to power the manufacturing plant. Our client not only benefited from reduced energy costs but also shared in the export revenues generated by exporting excess electricity to the grid.

If you are a landlord considering rooftop solar, our team at AG can provide expert guidance and support throughout the process. From assessing your property's suitability for solar installation to navigating planning permission and contractual agreements, we can ensure a smooth and successful transition to renewable energy.

To sum up...

Rooftop solar offers numerous benefits for landlords, including free renewable electricity, potential cost savings, revenue generation, enhanced green credentials, and a secure supply of electricity. While there are considerations to bear in mind, such as planning permission and return on investment, the long-term advantages make rooftop solar a compelling option for property owners looking to go green and reduce their energy costs. With our expertise, you can confidently embark on your solar journey and contribute to a more sustainable future.

Next steps

To see what other green energy options are available, visit Energy for Business.


To the Point 

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