Lighting-as-a-service pioneer unveils solar option
THE IRISH lighting-as-a-service pioneer UrbanVolt is to start supplying solar panels on a monthly-fee basis.
The company says its the first time the equipment is being offered to commercial buildings on the service model.
Solar as a service will operate along the same lines as the company’s innovative light-as-a service model where it invests its capital installing energy-efficient LED lighting for businesses with an agreement to share the energy savings between both parties over a five-year period.
UrbanVolt chief operating officer Graham Deane, left and chief commercial officer Declan Barrett, right. The company is one of few lighting-as-a-service specialists in the market, and has currently over 100 customers, mainly in Ireland.
‘Before companies install solar, they must first look at reducing their consumption,’ UrbanVolt chief Kevin Maughan told Lux. ‘The most effective way to do that is with LEDs as they’ll immediately cut lighting consumption by 75 per cent or more.
‘Once consumption has dropped, it’s time to start looking at generating energy on site via solar.
'Our lighting-as-a-service clients are following this roadmap and because they have cut their consumption by upgrading to LED, they are now ready to start producing their own energy on site.
‘Once a client site is deemed suitable, we will make the capital investment, carry out the installation and maintain the solar panels. While the amount of energy generated via solar panels will vary depending on location, roof angle, roof size and orientation, we estimate an average sized warehouse of 50,000 square feet (4,600 square metres) could save up to £8,800 (€10,000) or approximately 90,000 kWh every year using solar. That’s money which could then be reinvested into growing their core business’ Maughan said.
‘Right now, businesses are being asked by some solar energy providers to sign decades-long legally-binding agreements to hand over their roof space or pay upfront installation charges. With our service, UrbanVolt takes on all the upfront cost and risk and at the end of the seven-year term, our clients own the solar technology and continue to enjoy all the benefits’.
UrbanVolt is one of few lighting-as-a-service specialists in the market, and has currently over 100 customers, mainly in Ireland. Its clients include Pfizer and Dublin City University. Partners include Swiss specialist investor SUSI, which provides funding and Munich Re which insures its service.