Clean energy isn’t just for large corporations with enough funds to make decisions solely for the environmental good. For many small business owners, going solar may be a strategic choice with significant financial advantages. If you are wondering whether solar is a feasible option for your business ask yourself these four questions.
- How much do you pay for electricity?
By some estimates, the average commercial property owner saves 75% on their electricity bill by switching to solar, but there are a lot of online resources available to estimate how much money your business can save on its electricity bill monthly. The greater your electric bill, the less time it takes for the system to pay for itself, so businesses operating in places with high electricity rates can realize considerable financial gains from investing in solar PV.
- Choose your equipment sensibly
The amount you save by investing in a solar PV system is dependent upon a number of factors, including the size and orientation of your roof and the efficacy, durability, and reliability of the equipment itself. On the other hand, you may realize that the most expensive panels don’t necessarily translate into the greatest savings for your particular needs. Be certain that you’re working with a solar provider who will help you navigate your many options based on purchase and installation costs, energy capacity, and how long your solar panels are expected to last.
Solar can be a wise investment with a strong rate of return, but financing a solar energy system is a complex process with many variables. Cash purchases yield the best savings at the greatest upfront cost. Those interested in reaping the benefits of ownership without purchasing their system outright can finance the purchase with a solar loan, which permits you pay off the expense of the machine through fixed monthly payments. For some business owners, it makes more sense to rent their solar PV system with a solar rental, or power purchase agreement (PPA), which brings immediate savings with little or no money down, although monthly payments on a solar rental or PPA generally increase at a predetermined rate each year.
- Consider short-term cost vs. long-term savings
To determine their true return on investment, business owners should think about the long-term benefit of going solar beyond its initial cost and instant savings. Due to increased financial incentives and lower installation costs, the price of solar has diminished in recent years while electricity costs continue to rise. Investing in solar can help stabilize your energy costs and save you from the rising and frequently fluctuating cost of electricity purchased from a utility. In many cases, solar can even increase property value, enabling you to see added financial gain down the road.