Renewable energy, such as solar power, is a hot topic because of environmental concerns. However, the environment is not the only reason to consider switching your business to solar energy. Consider these nine ways solar energy can save your business money.
1. Outdoor Signs and Lighting
Illuminating the outside of your business, parking lot and signage can substantially increase your electric bill. Solar Fresno options for outdoor lighting can significantly lower your power bill if you live in the Fresno area. Solar lights collect energy from the sun and store it in batteries for later use. This allows the lights to function when the sun is not shining. Because the units do not need to be connected to a power grid, they can be a good option for lighting properties that can not be easily connected to a traditional power source. This option works best for light fixtures that are located in an area that receives substantial sunlight during the day. You will want to make sure the batteries for the lighting you purchase can store enough power to run your lights for the length of time you need.
2. Reduced Overall Energy Costs
Research has shown that the average business can reduce overall energy costs by as much as 75% by switching to solar energy. If you can not afford or do not want to invest in new equipment to switch over to solar, it is possible to get some of the cost savings through a power purchase agreement with a solar energy provider. These agreements allow you to purchase a set amount of energy for an agreed-upon rate for as much as 20 years.
3. Excess Solar Energy Sales
In some geographic regions where net metering is offered, businesses can sell excess solar energy generated by their solar power equipment to the power company. In most cases, you will not be able to sell enough power to make a profit off your solar equipment, but you may sell enough to offset a portion of the cost of the equipment and installation as well as your other utility bills.
4. Solar Water Heaters
A solar water heater can reduce your water heating cost by 50 to 80%. Businesses that use a lot of water have the greatest potential for savings by switching to solar. Most businesses do not use solar water heaters for their entire water heating needs, but supplementing your traditional water heater with solar can still significantly reduce your costs.
5. Tax Savings
Many states offer tax incentives for businesses to switch to renewable energy sources. Depending on where you are located, you may receive a tax deduction for the cost of the system or be eligible for other financial incentives to switch to solar power.
6. Price Fluctuations
The price of oil, coal and natural gas can fluctuate with market demand. Sometimes the prices of these energy sources increase severely, such as when Hurricane Katrina caused widespread disruptions in supply chains. If you have solar equipment, the cost of drawing your energy from the sun never changes and even if you are purchasing energy, if you have a PPA, the price is locked in for multiple years. Switching to solar energy can protect your business against unforeseen increases in the price of energy.
7. Solar Heating and Cooling
Solar energy HVAC units can be used to replace or supplement your traditional HVAC units. Solar heating units use the power of the sun to heat air and then pump that air into your building. Solar cooling units use thermal energy to evaporate liquid coolants, which absorb heat from the air and cool it. That cooled air is then pumped into your building. Because heating and cooling costs are one of the most substantial utility costs most businesses have, solar units can dramatically reduce your business' overhead.
8. Free Electricity
Estimates show that many businesses can pay off the cost of purchasing and installing solar equipment in 3 to 7 years. Once the equipment is paid for, the electricity generated is essentially free power. Most solar units have a useful life of 25 - 35 years, representing decades worth of cost-free power.
Power outages can bring your business to a standstill, costing you substantial amounts of money. Installing solar equipment can provide you with a reliable source of power to draw on during a power interruption.
Switching to solar energy is not only good for the environment but can save your business money. While you may pay more in upfront costs, you may receive decades worth of savings in return for your investment.