Frank McCullagh, business development manager of solar panel company Solmatix
Q: I want to reduce the energy costs in my business. Is solar energy a viable option?
A. The main reason why solar energy is becoming so popular is that it helps reduce your business cost.
In the current economic climate margins are decreasing, and the only way to stop that is to reduce your overheads, especially one which is increasing continually like electricity costs.
By installing solar panels to generate your own free electricity you can benefit from annual grants.
Typically it's a 20-year investment but after five years the system has paid for itself and the outstanding 15 years is money in your back pocket.
The return on investment is around 14%-plus a year on average.
The panels are guaranteed for 25 years, a factor which is important if you're making a 20-year investment. The panels we use also have a third party guarantee.
And you don't need to worry about Northern Ireland's climate as the panels work on daylight rather than sunlight and we can be very accurate in regards to the performance of the system using historical data.
Solar energy is no longer a niche – but has become well established.