Most business managers have a competitive spirit, or at the very least a sense of accountability. When it comes to balancing innovation with risk-taking, you need to first gather good information and trust your gut on every idea that crosses your desk. That’s why a smart decision like installing a solar system for your business is a lucrative opportunity, albeit one with an initial investment.
The rapid expansion of solar production from private businesses should confirm what your research is telling you: going solar makes budgeting easier and keeps you competitive. Going solar has quantitative, measurable financial benefits, plus other value that is qualitative or conceptual. Here are 6 reasons why going solar for your business is a smart choice.
- Lowered monthly operation cost. The primary motivation for investing in solar energy for your business is the ability to create your own power. For companies whose production uses a lot of power, free electricity is a game changer. Solar energy system installation may require some upfront investment, but after tax incentives (a 30% tax credit and accelerated depreciation), most owners pay off their system in 2-4 years for a system that will produce electricity for 25 years or more. With leverage, the payback and returns are even more attractive.
- Guaranteed cost for electricity. Fossil fuels are expensive to produce and becoming increasingly more controversial to transport. Future prices are sure to go up, but could possibly spike abnormally at any time. When you are in the process of moving forward with a solar installation for your business, you will have accurate information about the expected electricity production for the lifespan of your panels. Customers report that the estimates they received during a commercial solar evaluation are very reliable. Investing in solar energy for your business now protects you from the whims of the gas, coal, and petroleum markets.
- Net metering. Public utilities acknowledge, track, and compensate solar system owners for their contributions. It is necessary to hook your array to the public grid because even those who make more than enough electricity during the day must rely on power from the grid during dark hours. The reason it is termed net metering is that you receive a monthly statement reflecting a bill or a credit for your net production/use.
- Selling Solar Renewable Energy Certificates (SRECs). A clean energy initiative called Renewable Portfolio Standards (RPS) requires utility companies to boost production of renewable energy sources, such as wind, solar, and other alternatives to fossil fuels. With solar, every 1,000 kWhrs of solar produced is equal to 1 SREC.
This is where it gets interesting. You have freedom to decide how your company chooses to sell the SRECs. Producers can arrange private sales or sell them on the open market. Market prices vary from state to state. Depending on which state you produce solar energy for your business and where you choose to sell it, there is a lot of income potential. Markets post going rates publicly, making it easy to sell your SRECs in the most advantageous state.
- Media relations. Adopting solar energy for your business has a lot of feel-good value, too. Companies that pursue solar energy projects will be picked up by local media, which serves as a great PR and marketing tool.
- Influence individuals. In general, going solar is about protecting the environment, creating green jobs, and working towards US independence from foreign oil. Your neighbors and prospective customers will zero in on your business’ solar panel installation and they will associate themselves with your values. Residents in your area could also follow your lead and go solar, collectively contributing to reduce global warming and improve public health. Influencing individuals makes you more competitive in the recruiting realm, too. Attracting top talent with an appealing company culture that includes a commitment to renewable energy will reward your business for long-term success.
Any one or a combination of these motivations is reason enough to adopt solar energy for your business. Take advantage of all these benefits and go solar before the competition sees the light and makes a rush on the best contractors. The full 30% federal tax exemption will run through 2019, but why wait when sunshine is going uncollected now?