Solar Power For Businesses
With rising utility rates and a considerable decrease in the cost of buying and installing solar panels, solar power has become a sustainable and cost-effective energy alternative for business owners.
By combining a modest energy storage system with your solar installation, you can increase your savings by 20 percent to 50 percent, and you can move toward energy independence.
Is solar electric power right for your business? That depends on several factors.
- Does your business have a commitment to sustainability?
- Does your business have large energy load requirements?
- Do you prioritize off-setting energy consumption at the local level?
- Do you manage multiple locations with large, good quality rooftops?
Answering these questions should give your business some clarity as to whether to move forward with social panel installations.
Reasons to Consider Going Solar
Many expanding businesses invest in solar power and storage to help offset the added expenses resulting from their growth-related investments, such as the additional electrical demand imposed by facility expansion. Other companies couple solar with related infrastructure investments, such as roof repairs or new construction. Going solar can even boost the image of a business in the community by reducing its environmental footprint.
Combining photovoltaic (PV) solar systems with battery storage solutions increases your total savings. Solar panels generate electricity while the sun shines upon them but without battery storage to hold the excess energy, they cannot contribute to your energy requirements at night or during inclement weather.
Energy storage has the effect of evening out the load measured by the utility meter. This is especially important in the “shoulder” hours when sudden load spikes might result in demand charges.
The largest and most obvious benefit of solar power for businesses appears every month in their electricity bill. The cost reduction of switching to solar power is determined by a number of variable factors, including location, time of activity, industry, and size of facilities. Businesses that will benefit the most from moving to solar are ones with enough space to build an appropriately-sized system to cover their energy needs, enough sunlight to generate the solar power and a load profile that requires energy at peak hours.
The energy savings from solar power can be substantial. EnergySage market data suggests that the average commercial property owner in the U.S. can reduce overall energy costs by 75 percent by going solar.
Solar energy is also remarkably scalable. It is possible to start small with a solar array that contributes only a portion of your total energy requirements throughout the daylight hours. Then you build it over time to provide for all your electrical needs. In many areas, the electricity that exceeds your needs can be sold to your local utility as a revenue producer.
Along with front-of-meter cost savings from solar electricity generation and storage, additional behind-the-meter benefits provide more business incentives. A significant incentive for a business or organization that requires power 24/7 is the ability to create a solar microgrid that effectively converts your facility into an energy island, independent of utility energy providers. What’s more, constructing such an island frees your operation from the threat of power loss due to inclement weather or other natural disasters.
You may also be able to provide shelter and other emergency resources to employees and the surrounding community.
Sustainability and Competitive Advantage
Going solar can increase your business’ attractiveness as a corporate citizen and “green” business partner. Many organizations are developing corporate sustainability goals that call for doing business with other sustainable organizations. From this standpoint, investing in solar power makes you an attractive business partner for green-minded customers, while meeting the demands of regulators, state and local governments, and institutional investors.
Steps for Implementing Commercial Solar for Your Business
- Determine Financial and Sustainable Goals for Your Business: Begin by ensuring that solar energy is a fit for your business. For instance, are electric utility costs a significant contributor to your operating costs? Will “going green” raise your organization’s environmental profile among customers, regulators, and your community? Is space available on or around your facility for installing solar panels and storage equipment? The answers to these questions will help establish the benefits of an investment in solar power to decision-makers in your company.
- Gather the Facts of Your Recent Energy Usage: Assess at least six months of electrical bills, and data for a year or more will allow you to identify seasonal peaks and valleys. This longer time frame also will allow you to identify unusual consumption patterns such as equipment outages or unscheduled overtime.
- Partner With a Commercial Solar Energy Specialist: Many social projects end in failure as a result of customers overlooking this vital step. Among the vendors who have the necessary expertise include local contractors, public utilities, and recognized industry leaders. Before you schedule a first meeting, solicit references and check prior jobs to make sure you are doing business with a proven, reliable partner.
- Award Your Business to a Full-Service Solution Provider: Award your business to a full-service solution provider that can handle the rest of the work for you – from financing to system design and construction, grid connection, and maintenance. Choose a partner with solid financial backing that assures you of long-term support, and demonstrated experience building and supporting solar infrastructures of the size and complexity your business demands.
Financing Solar Power for Your Business
Commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy & Resilience (C-PACER) financing enables a public-private partnership. C-PACER allows private investment to fund building improvements that are in the public interest, such as solar power, energy efficiency, seismic retrofits, and lead remediation for clean drinking water.
C-PACER loans are long-term loans tied to a property’s title and transfer from one owner to the next when the property changes ownership. This translates into both the last loan obligations as well as these projects’ benefits accrue to the building’s present and future owners. Also, this system allows longer payback periods for building upgrades, covering the loan’s incremental payments via savings on utility bills, lower insurance premiums, and higher property value.
Thanks to the 2020 authorizing legislation, now advocacy by Solar Installers of Washington (SIW) and other stakeholders can ensure that Washington Counties – our state’s property-tax assessment jurisdictions – enact C-PACER programs.
How C-PACER Works For Solar
Private owners of large commercial rooftops can now finance solar and other upgrades in the public interest.
Hot Solar Solutions 🡪 Your Local, Expert Solution for All Things Solar!
If you are in the market to purchase solar panels for your business, look no further than Hot Solar Solutions in Kennewick. With more than 300 days of sunshine in the Mid-Columbia area, solar not only makes sense, it makes dollars and cents!
We are a local company, with deep roots in the Tri-Cities area, that is committed to helping our customers save money, be more self-sufficient, and make a positive impact in our community by reducing their carbon footprint.
If you are interested in exploring solar power for your business, we invite you to contact Hot Solar Solutions, your complete solar solutions company, at (509) 539 6140!