has finished the installation of solar panels on three of its buildings in the UK, as part of an effort to increase the use of renewable energy for its facilities. The photovoltaic systems at the Perth (114kWp), Norwich (184kWp) and Bristol (244kWp) offices were installed by Solarcentury and will enable Aviva
to reduce its reliance on the electric grid and lower its carbon footprint.
The initiative, which was started in January of 2014, will generate 445,000kWh of energy annually, and is expected to last for the next 25 years. Solarcentury will be in charge of operation and maintenance for the first ten years. Remote monitoring equipment has been installed, allowing the Aviva
energy team to view real-time performance data and further understand the benefits of solar energy. The project makes use of automatic arc detection devices, and each solar panel has its own mini inverter, making the entire system safer and more efficient. The electricity generated is used directly to power the lights and office equipment, as well as call centre operations in Norwich and Perth.
Lee Preston, carbon and utilities manager at Aviva
Insurance said, “We’re committed to understanding the organisational environmental impact and are now working hard to reduce it, through a range of initiatives that will help us to reduce our carbon emissions by 40% by 2050. We hope that by 2025, all electricity we use will be from 100% renewable sources. We already reduce our carbon emissions through energy efficiency measures such as LED lighting; we’re now taking this one stage further by investing in solar. We needed a solar partner who could overcome the technical challenges presented by our complex roof structures.”
With regards to building insurance, Preston mentioned that there’s no special insurance policy needed when installing solar panels on a building, but owners are advised to consult their insurer or broker before starting any construction work. The quantity and measurements of the solar energy system must conform to proper engineering regulations to avoid mishaps. Local ordinances and laws should also be checked for compliance.
Preston advised businesses and property owners to go solar, citing it as the right thing to do. It’s a clean energy source that avoids polluting the environment, and is also a good way to make use for extra space, especially on roofs. Since the majority of energy is consumed during the daytime, solar energy aligns perfectly in filling the energy needs of most facilities.