Reaping the benefits of solar

When it comes to energy, one of the best things you can do for the planet and the public purse is installing solar panels on your organisation’s property

Solar panels offer many benefits, and can be installed on many buildings, big or small. Hospitals tend to have large sites and so are great places to install solar panels.

Car parks are another option – they can be installed on the roof of a multistorey car park or structures can be built over traditional open air car parks to accommodate solar panels.

Cost
Solar panels generate electricity from the sun – so the energy is essentially free. Installing your own solar panels reduces reliance on expensive energy from the grid. Over time, solar panels end up paying for themselves and represent significant savings on energy bills. This money can then be spent elsewhere, for example maintenance and infrastructure improvements or on the day-to-day running costs – which can then in turn lead to improved facilities and better care for the community.
    
Solar panels represent a long-term investment. They have a long lifespan of 25 years or more. The initial cost investment results in stable and minimal energy costs for years. The initial set up and maintenance costs are paid for in the savings made against traditional energy tariffs.
    
Solar panels can provide an organisation with energy independence – meaning you are not reliant on or tied to fluctuating or expensive energy tariffs. Solar panels also reduce vulnerability to fluctuations in energy supply and power cuts. With battery storage systems, solar energy can be stored and used during emergencies, ensuring critical services remain operational.
    
There is also the opportunity to take advantage of net metering and sell energy back to the grid and therefore even make money. There are also government incentives available that can reduce the upfront costs of solar installations.

Net Zero
The electricity produced by solar panels is clean and renewable and does not emit greenhouse gases or pollutants. By reducing reliance on fossil fuels, buildings with solar panels contribute to lower carbon emissions and help combat climate change. This is especially important with the NHS’s net zero goals.
    
By reducing the demand for fossil fuels, solar panels can improve air quality and therefore improve health outcomes in the local area and further afield.
    
Solar panels on public buildings can also promote community engagement and pride. They demonstrate a commitment to sustainability and set an example for residents and local businesses. Installing solar panels can also improve the public image of the local health authority.

Local economy
The installation and maintenance of solar panels can create local jobs, and therefore benefit the local community economically.
    
Installing solar panels can have many benefits for the organisation that installs them, as well as the local community and the environment. Solar panels represent significant cost savings, as well as emission savings and can create jobs for the local area.

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