Running your business on solar power is a great way to go green and show customers that you are doing something positive for the environment. This transition can also save you a lot of money on your energy costs. Since solar power has been gaining traction in the commercial and residential markets the past decade, there may be a chance that you can run your whole business using solar power. Figuring out if you can, and whether or not this switch will save you money, requires you to ask yourself a few very important questions.
1. Is my business too large for solar power?
This question is vital in determining if you can run your entire business on just solar power. For some companies, it just is not viable since there may be a lot of industrial machinery involved, or there may be just too many people using too much power. However, many small businesses may absolutely fit the mold of being able to use only solar power. As long as you are not paying thousands of dollars a month in electric fees, there is a good chance that you can run on only solar power.
2. What steps will I need to take to convert to solar power?
Installing solar panels is usually the first step in converting to solar power since you need a way to create electricity from sunlight. These panels are usually installed on the roof, but if you have an open space that is not currently being used, you may be able to set up a larger array of panels and even feed energy back into the power grid. Depending on the space you have, and your water needs, you may be able to install a solar water heater as well. This uses the sun’s rays to heat up water, as opposed to relying on a natural gas water heater. In order to go completely solar, you will also have to go the extra mile and only use electric vehicles if you have company cars. This will require more solar panels than running only your building, but with gas and diesel prices continually going up, it may not be a bad investment.
3. How much will converting to solar power cost?
If you are only going to be converting your building to solar power, or if you have no vehicles that you will be using which would take up a lot more electricity, you will probably be looking at a price of around $30,000-40,000, assuming that your business will take about as much power as 2 residential houses. If you use considerably more power, your costs will go up. One way to cut down on costs is to see if a solar panel rental company is available in your area. They will install solar panels for you and charge you on a rental basis. This can dramatically lower your upfront investment, while still giving you the benefits of producing your electricity cleanly. Electric cars can cost upwards of $30,000, about a 50% premium above a new gasoline-powered car.
4. How can I use solar power on a budget?
Understandably, it may be impossible for some businesses to be run completely on solar power. For those that are too big or the costs would be too great, there are still options which utilize solar power, including installing only a few solar panels to cut down somewhat on electric bills, and using windows effectively to let light in, and heat during the Winter. Using windows the right way throughout the year is a great way to help your business go solar without any cost at all.
This article was written by Nicole, a blogger who has spent many years researching and writing about solar panels, commercial solar options, and other green energy concepts.