How to Switch Your Business to Solar
Good morning, everybody.
My name is Vincent Kelly from Energy Action.
Welcome to our webinar on how to switch your business to solar.
Yeah, My name is Vincent Kelly.
I'm Solar Solutions manager or energy Solutions manager at Energy Action.
I've been in the energy industry for around two decades now, Um, and my focus as, um is energy actions.
Focus is all about reducing energy costs and risk for our over 7000 clients.
As I just mentioned, we support 7000 businesses, both small and large, over 20,000 sites.
Um, and we've been doing that for two decades.
Um, we are the pioneers of the reverse energy option.
We pioneered that back in the late 19 nineties and were now considered to be the experts at that.
We conduct around 1500 of those events each year on behalf of our clients.
Um, today we're going to talk about, um, the solar journey that you're on.
Our remit, as I mentioned, is making energy easier, cleaner and cheaper.
Whilst we have been a procurement business for 20 years.
The last I'm going to say 7 to 8 of those years, the focus has shifted.
Will become very acute with respect delivering clean energy options for our clients.
So it's one thing to procure.
It's another thing to procure effectively and sustainably, um, at always at all times maintaining, um maintaining, uh, zero risk.
Or as far as we can get to zero risk for our clients.
Um, we're a company that does walk the talk.
We are climate action certified.
We are zero company for both our offices here and in the Philippines.
Now, today, um, courtesy of great mates over at smart Commercial solar.
We're going to give you an introduction into solar.
Hopefully, the guys will won't make it to Giardini.
We'll talk in terms that we can all understand because for some of you, this will be your first exposure to not the solar necessarily, but to but to solar for your business.
Um, it probably is coming into sharp focus for a lot of us now, given where energy prices have gone, given all the talk about net zero.
So this will be an opportunity for you to be introduced to that journey through that we'll ramp it up a little, Have a closer look at what happens in the solar.
Um, and we'll finish off by giving you a glimpse of the future as we see it.
The crystal ball of solar, if you like.
And seeing where we can go with future technologies now, all the way through this, we're going to be encouraging you to scan the QR code that you see here.
I think we're all pretty adapted, um, at understanding what to do with QR codes these days.
Just scan that.
That will take you to a landing page where you'll be able to put in your details and you can get an assessment through us.
Look, without any further ado, I'm going to pass your hook.
Who is the the founder and MD at smart commercial solar.
So taking away human.
Thanks everyone for joining us today really appreciate you taking the time, and we're about making this simple and very informative.
Most of you listening today would have had some exposure to solar whether you've had it installed on your home.
As 30% of Australian homes have solar now, but at least every one of you would have received a phone call at some point from a call centre asking you to get solar.
But the reason why you haven't moved is usually one of three reasons why you haven't needed to think about it until now.
And I think with energy, action and and all the news headlines, you would say that you really need to consider doing something about energy or two.
You you really haven't been exposed or understood the business proposition or it hasn't been explained to you properly.
Um, and the third reason that most people don't go solar is because they simply just don't know who to trust.
And so throughout today, um, we're going to show you how we built integrity into our processes and how we build business cases that work for you for each business.
And also the reason, while we hear finally found someone who we can trust, Uh, we hear that every week, Um, and and whilst it's a very noisy marketplace, hopefully up to today you'll go away with enough knowledge to be dangerous.
But more importantly, hopefully you can pick up the phone or send us an email, and we can get started in helping you on your journey.
We've been We've been on this journey for a long time.
I actually started in solar about 15 years ago, and that was about probably about 80 people in the whole industry, and it's simply exploded since then, and we are now the largest independent commercial e p.
C, or engineering procurement construction company in Australia.
We've got a really proud history of working with some of the biggest businesses in Australia, including my favourite one, which is Bunning's.
We will complete their 100 store this year, and we've worked on some of the biggest projects in Australia and all over the country as well.
So there's no jurisdiction that we haven't been stored a solar system in, and we've got about 1500 sites under monitoring, Uh, and and really, we exist to help our clients get to 100% renewables.
That's our purpose.
That's what we want to do, which means that where a solutions focused business, looking at the problem that you've got, which is something to do with energy, and then we want to build a relationship that lasts over time.
These two things are are real key drivers of how we do business and how we're going to improve your business.
We're independent, which means that we can have this really special relationship with energy action.
We're not a retailer, and, um and that means that that we're not selling products.
We're selling a solution.
We're not selling a solar system were selling energy over time, which is actually what you're buying when you're when you're thinking solar.
We were the first in commercial.
We were the first to provide things like performance guarantees.
We're the first papa provider Power purchase agreement provider, Uh, in Australia.
We'll talk a bit more about these seconds later, and we've been the first and a lot of things.
And when you meet my team, our team, I should say, you'll find that everyone in this company is awesome to deal with really good people.
And I'm very proud to have, uh, such a well regarded team.
And, uh, as a result, we've got the best solar company in Australia.
We're driven by our values that drives everything our integrity through the process.
We take a very sophisticated look at your business.
We look at how you use energy over time, and, uh, we create solution to fix the problem of cost and, uh, and some engineering issues as well.
We take responsibility for everything that we do.
Um, which pertains to the energy over time, uh, situation and were very enthusiastic and passionate about what we do.
And ultimately, uh, we're trying to do good.
We want to help people.
We want to.
We understand that energy touches everyone's lives.
And this is me on a roof with one of my engineers were installing a system for free to a school in Vanuatu and and that's the sort of that's the sort of opportunity that you get when you partner with us to do your solar.
Um, it feeds into other places as well.
Um, I'm going to move through a few slides quickly because I tend to watch all of it, but ultimately we're trusted by a lot of people.
We've got a huge raft of well known brands who trust us and continue to work with us over time.
A lot of these brands here we've been working with for eight years or more.
Um, and we've we've rolled out a huge amount of solar and rooftops and on the ground mounts.
And to explain how it's going to work for you, I'm going to hand over to Anastasia.
We will talk to you about feasibility, ultimately the business case and how we built integrity into our process to get you the best results.
I'll give it sees.
Give us one sec whilst we shuffle things around below 49 people with We've increased numbers.
Is that going to keep happening? Yeah.
Um, my name is Anastasia and the head of marketing, it's not of lucky enough to be working at this business in the last six years.
And I'm gonna talk you through the feasibility process, which I'm sure a lot of you are interested in because, really, this is the process that we're going to take you on once you sign that QR code and and submit your energy bill and an energy data.
So you probably joined this This webinar to better understand how solar can work for your business.
You may have looked at it before, or you're just starting your journey.
Wherever you're joining us.
You're probably wanting to know what's the best system size for your site.
And how do we arrive at a degree design that you can sign off on.
So all your questions get answered through our feasibility process, which follows these four key steps.
So I'm going to talk about the first three, which is focusing on the energy data analysis, solar feasibility study and the pre sale engineering process.
And then I'll hand over the max and he'll run you through the sales and finance side.
Um, and he'll run you through a few really cool procurement options.
Um, we can actually move quite quickly through this process and take you to 80% of a solution through our desktop feasibility and at that point will be presenting the solution.
Getting feedback from your team and should you wish to proceed, will come to site firm up the design through that pre sales engineering face.
So all up, we can take you from inquiry to an execute herbal design within about 6 to 8 weeks, depending on how quickly you want to move through it.
So part of my role is designing the proposal tools that we've put together these form, the core materials that could get delivered to our customers through the sales process.
I'm really proud of these documents.
I think there's a lot of value in here.
They drive powerful insights in how you use power and how solar makes an impact long term.
So I'll be showing screenshots of the energy data analysis and solar Feasibility study through this webinar.
However, I would like to point out the last document you see there, which is the the monitoring report.
This is something that our service team send out to customers every month once the system has been delivered, and this provides a constant update on system generation savings and sustainability outcomes.
So these are all very useful tools.
But I truly believe that's the most useful tool because it keeps track of your system and make sure it's on track to hit its performance targets.
So the first thing we do is collect your energy data.
So what you're looking at here is actually a real life customer based in South Australia.
There are large manufacturing site operating five days a week.
We'll actually be following this feasibility of this particular site throughout my presentation.
So this is where we start.
We hand this to our Solutions team and and And they're asking the question.
What is the best solution for the customer? So they're thinking about things like, Is there roof availability? Is that ground availability, or should we be looking at a car park? They're also considering the viability of batteries in hybrid configuration or as an off grid solution, however, so for the following presentation will be looking at a solar feasibility on a rooftop.
So once they've got an interval report, they'll start experimenting to see what's the most appropriate system size based on the consumption of the site.
So this is where we enter the core analysis in our energy data analysis, um, the top line.
You can see that that's the customer's current load, uh, clear bias to weekday operations, not much going on on the on the weekends, and their peak events are occurring during the day.
So it's a it's a good site for solar just by looking at their consumption.
The second line you see there is the overlaying of solar generation data, and that's modelled using postcode specific sunlight data for the customer's site.
So we're trying to build an accurate model of what the solar system is actually going to do if you had it installed in November 2020.
The last line there is the reduction in load, so you can see we've made a really big impact.
We have reduced their load by 44% in this month, and the dark blue that you see in the bottom line there the dark blue represents export.
Now this is something that our solutions team are really considerate of because there's a bit of a balancing act.
You want to size a system to have the maximum benefit during when you're consuming the most amount of power.
So in this case, trying to match that weekday load but also being mindful that there's an inherent exported power or the solar that's not being used on the weekend is being sent to the grid.
We attach a $0 benefit to export, so if you're generating too much export, it tends to have a negative impact on the payback of the system.
So when they're looking at your consumption and sizing the system, they're constantly looking at smaller system sizes, larger system sizes.
But ultimately the key driver is what is the best payback.
Ah, So this is where we now enter the solar feasibility study.
Um, once our team have performed the interval analysis, they start to have a look at your site.
Um, they'll pull up a satellite image and overlay overlay panels and and start to see if there's is there enough space, and what does it look like? Actually on the roof? Um, at this particular site, there's plenty of room for a 500 kilowatt system.
As you can see in that satellite image, I've also pulled in a few of the key metrics throughout the document.
Kind of put them all on one page.
But you can see in this example that we've reduced the overall load at this site by 30%.
Uh, we're acknowledging there's a 25% export.
In this particular case, the customer was happy to accept that level of export because we've got a roadmap in place, which will see them installing more solar and adding a battery later down the line.
So some would say export is a loss.
Other would say export represents an opportunity in the future.
Once batteries become financially viable to soak that additional solar up and use it later.
Uh, this is a really good case of, um, you know, solar coming together and stacking up really neatly.
So once we've built the interval analysis and the solar feasibility study, really, the customer has everything they need to assess the viability of solar, whether it's something they want to proceed with.
So at this point would be, uh, presenting back to your time.
Um, having meetings with your key stakeholders, making sure everyone's across the solution.
And should you wish to proceed at this point and firm up the proposal? This is where we enter the detailed design stage or pre sale engineering.
So at this point, we're engaging our pre sale engineering team.
Uh, we're starting to firm up the design through a site inspection and learning more about you know what's actually going on on the ground.
So we'll come to site with an engineer, and we're looking at things like connection points where we can lift equipment onto the roof, how to best perform the construction with minimal interruption to your operation.
Uh, so you can see on this site plan Here.
We've got three proposed crane lift locations.
We've got a storage zone outlines.
So where we're going to keep equipment through the construction of the project, you'll also notice that you know, the designs changed.
So this is an iterative process in this particular example that the customer preferred to use most of the northern roof and allow for enough room for the expansion of the system in Stage two.
Um, and I think that really speaks to our collaboration throughout the process.
We always engage the customer through the design, uh, and make sure that we're building a solution hand in hand rather than prescribing how the system should be installed.
Another key thing is safety and design.
This is something our engineers and project implement early in the design stage.
We're constantly engaging you for approvals.
So by the time we execute an agreement, everyone has an opportunity to agree and approve the design.
The aim here is to avoid any surprises down the line, and it makes everyone's life a lot easier.
Uh, so as part of this detailed design pack, you'll get a site plan.
Um, you know, if in particular situations where we're designing and installing quite large inverter stations will provide three D drawings to give the customer an idea of how we're going to instal these on the site and try and give you the best idea of how this is going to interface with your business.
Another key part is the schedule of works.
So this outlines of timeframes for applications, procurement, construction, commissioning of the system keeps everyone on the same page and gives us a target deadline.
So what really sets us apart from other solar businesses? As you can see, the level of detail we put into not only the analysis part of the feasibility, but the engineering and project management of our systems is unrivalled.
Uh, this is why, in this case, this particular client proceeded not only with 500 kilowatts, but to 500 kilowatts across their manufacturing sites.
And yeah, that would be an exciting case study as well to round back on.
But this, uh, this kind of completes the feasibility process.
At this point, customer has everything they need regarding the design and delivery of the system.
And I suppose this probably makes sense to hand over the max and he'll explain system costs and procurement options.
That might mean while we'd just play musical chess, and I bring up some of my notes.
All right, so thanks, Darcy.
Look, from here, we're going to talk about financial results and procurement options you have as a business.
Um, my name's Max standing, and I'm the general manager here at Smart.
I've been here with the business for six years and in the industry for over 12.
So I've seen a fair bit of movement in our space over my time, especially in the areas of financial outcomes and options customers have, um, when they decided to move forward with solar solutions.
So just as an overview, what I'm going to talk about in this section, we're going to talk about factors that influence financial outcomes for solar assets.
These include the capital cost of the solar asset, which can change depending on whether it's a rooftop, a ground mounts or a car shape, and also how complex integration is into your site.
Then there's a generation and consumption of the energy generated.
As Anastasia mentioned sizing the system is extremely important in order to achieve the optimal outcome.
So there are also things we can do with systems to increase performance.
That can further influence the financial results.
These include adding tilt frames or things like trackers which drastically improve the generation.
Other items that impact the financial outcomes are incentives such as STC, LDCs and beaks, which are dependent on the size of the system or your location.
And the most critical piece is the cost of your electricity to round it out.
I'll come back and take you through to procurement options being an outright purchase and a power purchase agreement as well as show you some real life commercial outcomes of these two methods.
So, first on the renewable energy certificates Um, there's a number of these, um, and three of those are listed here being STC S, l G, C S and V X s TCS provide an upfront benefits to businesses who installed systems up to 100 kilowatts in size.
The value of this incentive can be up to around 40 grand for 100 kilowatts systems, and it contributes around 30% of the total price of the system.
Um, this can improve the feasibility of solar for businesses who don't need significantly sized systems due to their consumption.
Um, and it has a material impact on the payback periods of people rates that we can offer to clients.
Um, the systems over 100 kilowatts, they qualify to generate L G C s.
So you're going to get one L G C certificate for every one megawatt hour your system generates, and you're gonna claim those every six months.
Um, at which point in time you can monetise them either at a fixed price negotiated with a retailer or at the spot price at the time of generation.
And you'll continue to generate those LDCs out.
Two year 2030 um, in Victoria, if you're lucky enough to be based there at the moment and looking at solar solar systems, um, you can generate VX instead of stc SRL GCS The benefit of Vieques is that unlike L.
C s, they are all generated in one go around 18 months post completion of the solar installation, the price of the beats at the moment quite high.
They're sending it around 75 to $80 a certificate, as opposed to LDCs that are sitting at around 50.
So customers in Victoria should consider the X for their solar installation, as it can significantly impact the payback periods.
And we're seeing some payback periods of sub three years at the moment or people rates between 40 and $60 a megawatt hour, or 4 to 6 cents a kilowatt hour.
So, uh, the electricity market is a major driver for customers wanting to make investments into solar.
Um, energy is a substantial contributor to a customer's retail bill.
Um, and any movement up or down here can impact the financial feasibility of solar.
So as we can see in the graph provided by energy action energy prices back in 2000 and 4 to 2000 and 19, they were sitting at around 60 to $80 a megawatt hour across the nem.
At these prices, the paperback period of an average rooftop solar system sits between 5 to 7 years.
Since then, we've seen energy prices soften into early to mid 2021.
Um, this, uh, this would have moved the payback period back to kind of 6 to 8 years.
For some customers, this price softening has been caused by the adoption of cheap renewable energy coming onto the market that has had a positive impact on pricing, however, as can be seen from late 2021.
Up until today, wholesale energy prices are skyrocketed due to a number of factors as detailed in energy actions.
Regular market wraps.
These updates are a great source of information for keeping up to date with what is happening around the country.
What this does is it makes the case for behind the metre solar even stronger when comparing to energy rates back in 2019 and payback periods between 4 to 6 years at that time.
Now, with prices between 142 $220 a megawatt hour, this equates to payback periods of between 1.
5 to 3 years.
In some cases, this would be the level that meets most businesses.
Investment hurdle rates.
So now, looking at your procurement options, um, your first option is an outright purchase.
Um, if you're considering an outright purchase, you might ask yourself these questions.
So, you know, does the asset meet the business investment criteria? Um, do we prefer to own all of our business assets? Um, my cost of capital Is it lower than the finance options provided after accounting for operational expenses.
Are we comfortable with all the potential operational expenses that come with solar? And do we simply want to achieve the fastest return on investment? And look, if you've answered if you've answered yes to all of those than an outright purchase is probably the most appropriate option for you to give you some examples as well as, uh, I guess how the same size system has changed in terms of the financial outcomes Over time.
Um, we've got we've got here.
What? A 500 kilowatt system.
The result of the 500 kilowatt system over over three different time periods based on the major factor that's changing the wholesale energy price.
And we've just picked New South Wales as an example.
Um, so, as you can see, in 2000 and 16, the average wholesale energy price in New South Wales was $88 a megawatt hour.
A 500 killer back at that time would cost you around $725,000 and saved you around 79,000, um, in energy savings and also produced around $25,000 a year in l G C income.
This results in a payback period of around seven years in 2000 and 16.
You can see in 2000 and 19 that the wholesale energy price in New South Wales actually reduced slightly.
So I went back down to about $79 a megawatt hour.
But you can see there was actually a heavy decrease in the capital price for that 500 kilowatt system, down around 13.
Um, but because the energy price had softened, the payback period from between 2000 and 16 and 2000 and 19 actually didn't change that much, So we're still around that seven year mark.
Now, if you have a look at wholesale prices today in New South Wales, sitting around $200 a megawatt hour, the system price only has only come down around 4% from from 2019.
Hasn't really moved that much, but you can see that the payback period because of the savings per annum, it now 155,000.
The payback period is now 3.
5 years for that same 500 kilowatt system.
So I guess Look, if you if you haven't, If you look at solar in the past, and you've probably seen these financial results you can obviously see.
Now is the best time to be looking at an outright purchase.
If that's the decision, your business wants to go down because the financial results of Superior So here's a Here's an example of a business phrases property who engaged us to instal solar via an outright purchase.
Phrases businesses well set up to understand the operational requirements of solar assets as they've been installing solar on their sites for many years.
Phrases We're looking for the best quality installation that was going to deliver the fastest returns for their business.
Hence the reason why we went down that path.
And we continue to do more business with phrases property under this model.
So next I'm going to talk about power purchase agreements.
Um, p p.
Is your second option.
Um, it's where we instal the system for free at your site, and you simply pay for the electricity that the system generates.
But you're gonna pay for that at a much more competitive rate than your current retail electricity rates.
So if you're considering a pita, you might ask yourself.
These questions? Um, you know, Number one.
Do I want to spend the available capital that I have in the business on a non core business asset? Do I have the in house capability to manage the asset? Um, do I have a good understanding of the ongoing operational expenses? And And I guess the last one, you know, would I prefer a specialist service provider to take all operational risks.
Um, So if you answered, if you answered no to questions 123.
And, yes, the question for, um then a PBA is probably the right option for your business.
So here again, as with the outright purchase options, I just thought I'd show you a couple of real life examples of some people to commercial outcomes.
We've picked a couple of different system sizes.
Also, these systems are installed in different jurisdictions.
Therefore, qualifying the different incentives, as we've mentioned throughout as well.
So if you have a look At example, one on a 10 year Pepe agreement, the customers' energy rate was 22.
We're able to offer them a papa rate of 10.
2 cents a kilowatt hour, which is a reduction of 55% on their energy costs.
So that returned $49,000 in the first year to them free, positive cash flow.
And over 10 years, that ended up being 545,000.
Um, and again, just to reiterate all operation and maintenance and things like that are included in Apia.
It's taken care of by us as we own the asset Option two, the bit of a larger system.
5 megawatts over a 12 year term.
Um, this side is actually in Victoria, so it qualifies for weeks.
Um, the customers' energy rate was 12.
5 cents per kilowatt hour.
Um, and this was a rooftop system.
The people rate we're able to offer them with 5.
98 cents per kilowatt hour over a 12 year term, which is a 52% reduction in their in their energy costs, returning 100 and $93,000 in the first year and over $2.
2 million over 10 years.
The last one is probably the most attractive people rate we've ever ever offered to any client.
7 megawatt system over 20 years, the customers rate is 10.
5 cents, and this customer again based in Victoria, was able to take advantage of the subsidy.
The rate we're able to offer them was 3.
65 cents per kilowatt hour, which is 65% below their rate of 10.
Um, that returned $443,000 in the first year and over $5 million over 10 years.
So hopefully that gives you an idea of the range of possibilities for PPS and the results that we can bring that last example there.
And the reason why we're able to get so low on that particular, uh, customer was because the system was installed on a ground mounted system with single axis trackers as well.
So we're able to increase their generation and that something's there, things that we can do in the design to further enhance the financial outcomes of the solar system.
So finally, just a case study on a P.
Um, see you there an example of a customer that proceeded with solar with us under a PP arrangement.
The reason they did this is because they didn't want to spend their core capital on non core business assets.
So, you know, we all know who see you.
They make beer, and they're pretty good at, You know, we're good at building and maintaining solar assets, so we've provided the solution, and they just simply enjoy the benefits of cheaper electricity.
So I hope this section gave you a good understanding of the factors that impact the financial outcomes as well as some of your procurement options.
Now, hand back to human to discuss some exciting opportunities to be on solar.
Good one, Max.
I don't think that she believed that he translated to cheaper beer.
Unfortunately, got a lot of breweries have a very, uh, beyond solar bit of blue sky thinking.
So now the point here is that where we're aware that most of our customers, most of you listening are autumn journey.
And really, the intent is to become as independent and self sufficient and as renewable as possible.
And we are, in effect, technology agnostic because we're solutions focused.
So while solar is the best thing right now, we know that in the future there is going to be new opportunities to take you further down that line.
Solar can generally achieve about 30 to 40% of your needs on your roof, provided you've got the roof space to accommodate it.
So what happens after you have installed solar? Well, then there comes more energy procurement with energy action.
And, uh, but then on site, what are you going to do? You're going to increase your solar system.
You're going to put in storage, and we're going to have a look at other technologies that are going to help help you reduce your carbon footprint.
So at the moment, energy action have a really good product where they can help you, um, satisfy the 65% that you're going to continue to buy from from the grid with their green energy strategies.
And there's these products that has come out where there a really good example of what they can do through clever procurement to help you along your journey.
But whilst storage is not exactly financially sensible for everyone, um, it will be over the next few years.
Um, so you're gonna probably look at a storage system within the next five years.
Which would you do you 35% of solar right now and then over the next five years will be adding more solar and that storage system, and you'll reduce your grid consumption down to about 20% to get that last 20% of consumption.
Um, eliminated with sorrow in storage, basically costs you about 100% more than your current Stage two already does.
So that last 20% is a very expensive 20% to get rid of.
But there will be some other technology satisfies that.
We don't know what it is yet.
Um, that's why this is kind of a journey for all of us.
But we're open to the opportunity.
And as long as we understand the data and as long as we were working with you, we'll be there when that technology arrives.
Solar and storage This is a mega pack at Tesla.
7 megawatts being installed for an electric bus company.
Actually, um, that was installed, I think last week completed last week.
Um, and this is probably the first financially sensible battery that we've installed other than one in Alice Springs, which has been out there for about six years, Um, and doing very well.
Taking the budding site, they're off the grid by 80%.
Um, this is, uh this is a new factory that we're doing in Alexandria.
Um, we're filling the roof with 600 kilowatts of solar.
We're putting in two big batteries.
And the purpose of this battery, the only way that we could get it to be financially sensible was by playing in all energy markets at once.
So it's it's performing demand management or demand management behind the metre.
It's offset in kilowatt hours, but out into the grid is also playing in demand response, which is which is one market.
It's playing in F CAS, which is a very short energy market.
Um, and it's getting paid to exist in the in the case of emergency supplies, as well as other other financial mechanisms that are making this battery financially sensible.
But it is generally very hard to get financial sensibility, and unfortunately, lithium prices are on the increase due to demand.
It's probably it's unlikely that lithium will follow the multi laws curb that has had such an influence in solar.
When I first started in this industry, 15 years ago.
Uh, you know, a seven kilowatts system I sold for $120,000.
Uh, for what? You could probably buy cheap now for about $6000.
Um, so that's sort of scale of cost reduction isn't going to happen as well in in storage.
But there's other ways to save money.
Um, that the third, the third idea which should be considered now is demand management.
This is managing your peaks of demand behind the meta with sophisticated technology.
So we can instal some monitoring equipment and device control for things like air conditioners or pumps or discretionary loads.
And this allows you to get rid of this spike.
So this is this is a really real customer example.
You can see this is the month of March and for some reason, unbeknown to us at the time or unbeknown to the customer, they have this massive demand moment now that paved that demand in a k b A charge.
Some customers pay for that demand moment as a capacity charge over time, which, you know, that may last for an entire year.
Because of that one single moment where all of their machinery turned on at once.
Now, if we were able to manage that, if that was an air conditioning load and the machine learning would say, I can see that everything's turning on.
Let's turn off the air conditioners so that we prevent this, um, this moment from happening, um, one you can get.
You can reduce your need to build significantly until you can actually get paid for it by a retailer, so demand management can reduce your demand by up to 20% which is your kv a charge on your energy bill.
It can reduce your consumption by up to 5% and it also can load more loads into solar hours.
If it sees that solar is exporting, you may programme this single.
We may programme this device to turn air conditioners on to lower the temperature or to pump water or to do other functions that are discretionary.
So demand management is really a very logical step for you to consider, um, for each one of your businesses and there'll be other technology.
We're undertaking some work for a food manufacturer using bio gas by taking them 100% off grid 100% off gas and 100% of heat, Um, and making them basically processed food waste into energy and heat, which is an amazing, which is an amazing product.
Um, yes, Solar is in our name, but unfortunately, we've We've developed too many skills and were operating in other energies factors as well.
And that brings it brings me to one of my favourite sites, which is McCain's.
It's definitely, uh, one of the more beautiful installations we've undertaken with the paddock and tracking tracking Solar, using a special panel called a bio facial panel, which can absorb sunlight from behind and reflected off the ground.
And we're also putting in a 1.
2 mega kojin operating of the gas produced by fermenting potato skins.
So when you think of your chips, next time you're gonna get some hardships.
Think of McCain's because that's probably where it came from.
And then think of smart commercial solar and remind yourself of this webinar.
Remember the QR code and remember to reach out to Vincent and and the team there at a and I think we're going to answer some questions.
Yeah, yeah, we've got time for that, Vincent.
Yeah, we do.
We have time for some questions.
I'll get some, uh, we'll get all of this in the shot so that we can open up the that shot.
It was here.
What's the, uh, minimum system size from PBS? You might want to get a shot.
More like, um, look, there's probably there's probably not a minimum.
I mean, typically typically around 30 kilowatts is probably about the smallest system size that that we do for for a papa.
Um, so that's that's probably about where it would be about 30 kilowatts.
Yeah, I think we've shown a lot of large rooftops, but I think there's a lot of, um, potentially a lot of listeners here who are not as big as 500 kilowatts.
It is important to note that, you know, whatever your businesses will find a solution for it.
Can you see any other questions that Vincent, um, that I think that winds us up in terms of the questions.
If anyone else has a quick question, they want to throw the guys.
Why? I can't thank you enough boys for being on the panel today.
It was so informative it was awesome.
So if there's there are no further questions, we might we might wrap it up just to remind everybody about what we do.
We are a one of Australia's largest procurement brokerages.
We we help companies save a lot of money, mitigate risk and help take you on that sustainable journey.
So, um, I think I just saw, actually.
But while I was wrapping up there, I saw one more question.
I saw a couple more questions.
Can you see those guys? Yes.
So what is the life expectancy of panels and inverters? Uh, the answer that So, um so we use a couple of brands and just this year, Trina Solar, who's our major brand and we're their major client in a pack, um, have outlasted their warranty.
So they turned 25 years old this year, and typically solar panels come with a 25 year warranty.
Some of the newer panels that were used in come with a 30 year warranty, and they do last that long over about 100 megawatts of installations.
We've only had about 200 or 300 kilowatts of warranty issues in that in the last 10 years.
as smart commercial solar.
So, really, they are pretty robust.
In terms of inverters, we usually offer a 10 year warranty on the inverter.
Um, a good quality in video will out last 10 years.
A cheap and nasty will maybe get your five years.
Um, the thing to remember about anything you do with solar is that you know if you're going to save two or 3% by getting a cheaper system, it's like using A and I don't want to particularly slur brand.
But it's kind of like asking it here and I to do the job of a Toyota solar system, sits in a very harsh environment on your roof, exposed to the sun and or whether and it has to do a lot of work every day.
Getting a robust system is the most important thing, and that's why we operate and maintain.
We monitor everything we've installed, and we provide service to this product long term because ultimately it's about energy over time.
Um, there's a question there, around the cheapest PP a rate of 3.
Um, what was that fixed, or did it have an inflation per annum so that had a 2.
5% inflation per annum.
So there's obviously a couple of things you can do with your PBA.
We can offer a fixed price for the period.
We can offer an inflating price, which will obviously result in a more attractive price in the earlier years.
We can also do things like like flip it around and go the other way and have the price reducing over time.
So the good thing about the PBA is is it's flexible, It's not one size fits all.
They're all pretty bespoke.
Um, and it's about finding finding the right solution for your business based on your situation.
So there's a lot of things we can do that you've got another one there that says, um, do you can that so fund? Do you partner with commercial funders to help businesses self fund Their system is source.
If you're talking about, um, uh, you're you're you're in the business of raising capital to to invest into solar assets and and create a return.
Yes, we'd we'd be more than happy to have a chat with you.
We obviously have a number of partners in this space, but more than happy to open up a discussion about that.
Guys, can you see the question about D.
C optimisation for the panels? That's a really good question, actually, because the few proponents of that type of technology, um so d c optimises to explain for the listener is, um there are devices that you can instal on the back of each panel that, uh, so called D C optimist, optimist the output of every panel rather than getting, uh, you know, an entire streaming of panels are a group of panels to sort of average out what we've found with DC optimisation and micro inverters.
Basically, this optimising single panel idea is that they haven't actually performed better.
They cost a little bit more.
In fact, um, they promise about 3% more performance or annual output, and we've actually found it to be the opposite to be true.
And when they fail, it's a very expensive repair process because you've got to go lift up every single panel to fix them.
So we're not big proponents of that type of technology.
We haven't seen the benefit.
We were the largest installer of this type of technology in its early years.
But frankly speaking, most commercial rooftops, they're not suffering from isolated areas of shade.
Uh, they're not that that they don't need to optimise each individual panel, and the added cost doesn't add a better yield, I think, just just to add to that, you know, I don't think it should.
It should be a question of string and murder or optimizer.
I think there can be cases where if there are problem areas of a site that may have shading or things like that, you can optimise particular areas of the system rather than optimising the whole system, which are then adding significant amount of points of failure to your to your system for for not a significant benefit.
So So I think.
Look for us, we're pretty agnostic.
We have gone down the optimizer path previously.
We've got our own experiences with it.
We take a more balanced approach these days.
If it is required, I have.
Ultimately we're selling.
You were trying to sell annual yield or results over time.
Um, and that's that's the most important thing we want.
We want something that's really robust that's going to generate what we promised or exceeded and deliver a financial benefit to the client.
11 question from A from a listener here in the room is the value of the of the maintenance through the EPA.
Can you shed some light on what that looks like? What the what that process is? Is that an annual inspection? And what would you expect to find through that inspection? What is the value of them? Yeah, so, obviously, under a P B A, we're taking care of all of the operation and maintenance throughout the whole entire term of the agreement, as it's essentially our asset on on the customer's site.
Um, so So our maintenance costs are all wrapped into that single price per kilowatt hour that the customer pays on their electricity bill.
And essentially, what the maintenance covers is it covers regular regular annual maintenance.
That's that's required to do preventative maintenance.
Um, it it includes any reactive maintenance that might need to happen if there was an issue on the site or if we lost communications on the site.
Um, it will include panel cleaning if we decide that over time that the solar system performance is dropping due to soiling on solar panels will come out and clean the solar panels.
All of these things are taken care of, um, and the customer doesn't need to.
Doesn't need to monitor.
Doesn't need to, um, doesn't need to think about the performance because we are best interests are that the system performs as good as it needs to because we're getting paid on a per kilowatt hour basis.
So the good thing about the PBA is, um, the you know, the needs of decline in ourselves are really well aligned because we want the system to perform.
And in fact, we want the system to over perform if possible.
So, um so it creates a neat little partnership in that sense.
Um, there's one last question here.
I hope you consider which is about harmonic feedback.
So the solar system's designed to effectively match what you've got going on in your sight, uh, and just add power into it.
So if you've got if you got some power quality issues on your side, solar will not correct it for you.
Um, it could potentially exacerbate the issue, but we would know about that prior, but it doesn't create a new issue for you.
Um, solar is very, very tightly controlled in how it interacts with the grid and with the site.
Um, what we've found actually is solar is actually extremely solid, but things like they called voltage optimizers, Uh, which seems, uh, you know, it's created a lot of problems for people.
Um, so we actually end up finding a lot of a lot of problems on sites, and we end up fixing them, uh, as part of our scope.
Ultimately, um, and solar is is actually a solution to some of these problems.
But because we take such a deep dive into your energy situation, we get to find out whether or not technology that you may have installed is working well, Just like demand management, we can re saved one customer who is turning on all their, uh, all their electric forklift charges at once.
30 at night, they created one single spike every night.
All we have to do is putting the timer between those devices, and we saved them $20,000 a year just in something pretty, pretty sensible.
But he comes back to understanding the data and then designing a system appropriate to the need diverted off the topic.
But ultimately, no, no, we don't cause any problems for you guys.
I've just been given a signal to wrap it up.
It's been a fantastic forum.
Thank you so much for for for everything.
For for giving us all that information and the questions you've just taken and answered A quick reminder of everyone watching, um, for all of your energy needs procurement.
Um, that zero, uh, sustainability needs whatever it may be going head to our website.
Um, w w w dot energy action dot com.
Today you reach out to one of our 20 or so, uh, sales guys and and I'll help you out with whatever you need.
And don't forget to scan that QR code and set up a time to get an assessment happening for your for your solar on that note.
Thanks very much for attending today.
And wherever you are, go well.
Talk to him.
All the best