Lightforce solar articles

Calculating the Solar Power ROI for Businesses

by: Lightforce Solar
21 February 2024
The ROI for solar power can be a boon for New Zealand businesses. Discover the financial benefits of solar energy and how to calculate it with our guide. continue reading below...

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Commercial solar power lies at the forefront of sustainable and eco-friendly energy solutions, captivating the attention of businesses in New Zealand due largely to the substantial Return on Investment (ROI) solar panels can offer.

Accurately calculating and forecasting solar power ROI is crucial for businesses looking to transition to solar energy.

In this comprehensive guide, we delve into the intricacies of solar ROI, emphasising the financial benefits of solar energy and how to calculate potential ROI before making the switch.


The Significance of ROI on Solar Power

Savvy business leaders will calculate solar ROI to understand the two most substantial implications of this transition: financial and environmental impact.

Financial Implications

Investing in solar panels and systems offers an opportunity for long-term savings. The ROI calculation becomes a financial compass, providing a clear picture of savings potential. It guides individuals and businesses in making financially sound decisions, aligning sustainability with economic responsibility.

Environmental Benefits

Solar power is a formidable ally in the battle against environmental degradation. Its impact on reducing greenhouse gas emissions is significant, contributing to a cleaner and more sustainable future. Calculating ROI empowers individuals and businesses to quantify these environmental benefits, fortifying the case for renewable energy.

The environmental benefits of commercial solar systems can also lead to tangible financial gains thanks to the New Zealand Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS). As we further our commitment to fighting climate change, the ETS is a key part of this process and one of the main tools to help us lower our emissions.

The ETS does this by putting a price on carbon emissions. As polluting becomes more expensive, companies are motivated to switch to cleaner alternatives such as solar. The ETS works on a system of units. Each unit represents one metric tonne of carbon dioxide equivalent. Companies use these units to pay for their emissions. Putting a price on carbon emissions prompts companies to make more sustainable choices and increases the potential ROI of solar.


Factors Affecting Solar Power ROI

Before calculating solar ROI, it’s important to understand the factors that may influence it.

System Cost

The upfront cost of solar panels varies based on size and complexity. However, there has been a consistent decline in the prices of solar equipment, making solar power more affordable than ever before. At the same time, conventional electricity costs have been on an upward trajectory. This contrasting trend can lead to a higher return on investment, given the long-term power savings that solar provides.

Energy Consumption

Tailoring the solar system to match energy needs is integral to optimising returns. Understanding current energy consumption is pivotal for ROI accuracy. Assessing your energy needs can help you avoid investing in an oversized system, ensuring maximum cost-effectiveness.

Green Loans

To encourage investments in sustainability initiatives, many leading New Zealand banks offer green loans. These loans can help finance your solar system, allowing you to reap the benefits of solar without worrying about the upfront cost. Talk to Lightforce Solar for more information on your financing options.


Geographical location influences solar power ROI. Sunnier region maximised greater energy production, accelerating ROI. In addition to the amount of sunlight a region receives, other factors such as local weather patterns, shading from nearby buildings or trees, and the angle and orientation of the solar panels can also impact the solar potential of a specific location.

Evaluating solar potential based on location is essential for assessing the financial viability of a solar installation.

Solar ROI - Massive solar panels in the countryside


Steps to Calculate ROI on Solar Power

1. Gather Initial Investment Costs

Compile all costs associated with solar panel purchase and installation. The cost of solar panel installation is influenced by various factors, with the type of roof being a primary determinant. For instance, tile, bitumen, or shingle roofs require additional mounting components, making the installation more expensive.

2. Estimate Future Savings

Determine expected energy savings over the solar system’s lifetime. Consider reduced electricity bills and potential energy credits. This estimation provides insights into long-term financial benefits.

3. Account for Maintenance Costs

Include potential upkeep expenses in calculations. Though solar panels require minimal maintenance, accounting for this ensures optimal system performance, directly impacting ROI.

4. Calculate Payback Period

Divide the initial investment by annual savings to determine the payback period. A shorter payback period indicates a more financially rewarding solar investment.

5. Consider Financing Options

Explore various financial options, such as solar loans, to make solar power accessible. Assess how these options impact ROI and financial goals.

6. Monitor Energy Production

Regularly monitor solar system energy production to ensure it meets expectations. Promptly addressing discrepancies safeguards ROI.

7. Review ROI Periodically

Given fluctuating energy costs and evolving incentives, periodic reassessment of solar power ROI is advisable. Adapting to changing circumstances optimises long-term financial gains.

Save on Solar with Lightforce Solar

Knowing how to crunch the numbers on your solar ROI is your ticket to a cleaner, greener, and financially savvy future. Reach out to Lightforce Solar for advice on your solar options. Our team can help you work out your potential ROI from your solar investment. Find out how much you’ll save today!

Financial and Environmental swapped – our research shows that financial considerations far outweigh environmental ones for solar purchasers.


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