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The benefits of commercial solar in the self storage industry

solar power paybackCommercial solar energy is becoming a major part of the self-storage industry – and a number of surprising benefits have come to light in recent years.

1) Reduced Electrical Bills

In many cases, businesses that install solar panels will see their primary benefit coming from reduced electrical bills – and once the solar panels themselves are paid off, the lower monthly payments will drop even further. However, self storage units are a very rare type of facility: though they’re often quite large, most self storage facilities pay their own electric bills, unlike other types of commercial real estate where the tenant is often separately metered and pays for their own electricity. This is where the reduced electrical bills from commercial solar panels come into play – it’s entirely plausible for a self storage facility to completely eliminate its electrical bills and begin selling excess power back into the grid, an immediate impact on the bottom line for the facility owner!

In short: Solar panels won’t just save money – they’ll generate it.

2) Immediate Savings

For some facilities, the benefits of solar power are about more than just the benefits over time – they can begin dropping the bills as soon as they’re installed and transform a struggling facility into a stable and profitable enterprise. Facilities that are already stable can see even greater benefits – with costs going down, it may finally be time to invest in another location and begin growing the business… or reward employees for their hard work by giving them a raise. From supporting repairs and maintenance to paying the bills, solar panels can offer immediate help for a business – and that’s something that doesn’t happen too often.  Most importantly, the installation of a solar system will increase Net Operating Income (NOI), which in turn has a dramatic effect on the property value!

3) Happier Customers

Most customers like supporting businesses that have a focus on helping the environment – and few methods are perceived as positively as a robust solar setup. In fact, the use of solar panels can serve as a point of advertising for the facility, especially if other public storage locations in the area have yet to switch over. This won’t hurt the perception of the facility as being self-sufficient, either, and that’s something all of your customers will appreciate.

4) Ease of Installation

Most changes to a mini storage facility are, at best, costly and time-consuming. However, solar panels are easy to install at most self storage facilities because of the industry’s trend towards large, open roofs. In the interest of honesty, however, it will take a professional to determine the best setup for a given facility. Here’s why:

In order to obtain the maximum benefit from a solar panel, each array has to be carefully arranged. Surrounding features of the landscape – trees, buildings, and the like – can cast a shadow over the panels and drastically reduce their effectiveness. If there are too many sources of shade, then commercial solar panels cease to be a good option for the facility.

Fortunately, most self storage areas are large enough to avoid these problems – whether it’s rising above the surrounding terrain or simply being so large that shade isn’t a problem, there should be at least some locations of the facility that will support solar panels. The panels aren’t restricted to the roof, either – walls, poles, and other fixtures can also be used to mount the panels.

5) Competitive Pricing

There are many things to spend the savings from solar panels on – but the most important one may be your customers. The greatest benefit of commercial solar panels is their ability to help a facility offer competitive pricing and attract renters from further away – even a few dollars less each month can make all the difference, and that’s a small price to pay if it helps you rent out those empty rooms.

The Smart Solution

In most cases, a self storage facility cannot lose by switching to solar panels – from happier customers and competitive pricing to lowered bills and even a secondary source of profit, the benefits of commercial solar power for self storage units have been proven time and time again. If your facility hasn’t made the switch, then it’s time to call in an expert and ask if solar panels are a good fit for your self storage business.