Does your organisation want to generate its own electricity? Then this little book might be very useful to you. If you are allowed to put a solar panel on the roof of the building for a photovoltaic solar panel this is one way to produce electricity. In fact, you do not have to have a roof. The solar panels can be placed on the outside walls or on the ground.

“Choosing Solar Electricity” is a step-by-step guide on how to go about choosing a system that is suitable to your needs – and to your wallet! The first step is to consider whether there are other renewable technologies that are more suitable and cost effective for your organisation. You could get solar panels that produce hot water - if you get your hot water from a tank in the building.

Financially, you can make a small profit if you produce your own electricity or heat. For a photovoltaic system you are guaranteed a fixed subsidy of 41.3 pence per unit generated for 25 years, linked to inflation and tax free. You will of course also make big savings in your electricity bills. A typical system will have paid itself off after 12-15 years but with increased electricity prices expected over the next decade it will pay itself off even faster.

The sooner you get photovoltaic (PV) system up and running the more you will earn for two reasons: you will get paid for 25 years if you install it now but if you wait five years you will only get paid for 20 years and the subsidy will decrease for newcomers year-by-year. The reason is that the subsidy is only meant to kick-start the renewable industry.

The argument for waiting with the installation of a PV system is that the systems are likely to come down in price over the coming years, partly because mass production will make each unit cheaper but also because technological improvements are expected for PV systems, like printed PVs and nano technology.

There is an alternative to buying a PV system. There are companies that will install PV systems for free on your roof. They will let you have all the electricity it produces for free but they will keep the 41.3 pence subsidy per unit produced! So the only profit you will be making is the saving you will have on your electricity bills for the next 25 years. How much saving you will make depends on how much electricity the PV system produces, which again is dependent on how big it is and its location. So if you have a big roof you cold make a big saving.