Could Solar Power Save Your Business Money?Is it time for your small business to go solar? Learn the benefits of adding solar panels to your building.
We’re seeing more homes than ever switching to solar power. And it’s easy to see why: it’s cost- and energy-efficient, produces little to no waste, and is environmentally safe. With traditional utility costs rising, there’s never been a better time to go solar.
But in the business world, progress is a little slower. Many businesses, especially small ones, have smaller budgets and therefore don’t think they can afford solar energy. Upfront costs can be expensive, and many businesses don’t know what financing options are available to them.
But the solar industry is changing, and that means it might be time for you to add solar panels to your business roof. But before you do, we’ve compiled a few factors to consider.
Traditional utility costs are way up
You might not notice it on a month-to-month basis, but traditional utilities like electricity and gas are higher than they used to be. And that means you’re almost guaranteed to save money by switching to solar. According to market research firm EnergySage, the average commercial property owner paid $1,950 in monthly electricity bills before going solar. After their installation, their electricity bill was reduced to approximately $500 – a 75 percent reduction.
Solar equipment and installation costs are down
As a small business owner, you might be concerned about making a huge upfront investment, even if the return is worthwhile. According to EnergySage, the price of buying and installing solar panels has dropped considerably in the last five years. Once you install, you can say goodbye to monthly utility costs, meaning that you’d start seeing savings right away.
Financing is a viable option
If you’re interested in going solar but don’t have the cash upfront, you can explore financing options like a $0-down solar loan or solar lease/PPA. Many lenders do this; the key is shopping around until you find the lender that’s right for you and your business.
Related: 7 Tips for Nailing a Bank Loan Pitch
You might qualify for tax credits
State and federal agencies have set up several financial incentives to encourage homeowners to go solar, such as tax and energy credits. On the federal level, owners of newly installed solar panel systems in their homes or businesses get a federal tax credit for 30 percent of the cost of the system. Beyond that, there are several state incentives in place, but for small business owners, finding these incentives is a little more difficult.
EnergySage recommends checking with the Database of State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency (DSIRE), supported by the Department of Energy, for a comprehensive summary of policies and incentives available in every state.
You’ll attract environmentally conscious customers
What does your most loyal customer know about you? That you’re fair, that your prices are reasonable and that you’re pleasant to work with? What if they also knew that you were environmentally conscious?
EnergySage says many current and potential customers seek out companies that are committed to sustainability. They’re also more likely to like a product or service more if it comes from a sun-powered source.
Your staff will thank you
When job-hunting, more people than ever are looking to work for companies with an eye on the environment. Beyond the financial benefits for you, Installing solar panels is also a great way to demonstrate your business’s commitment to sustainability, and foster a happier, more compassionate workplace.