Solarize Your Business

Your small business can save money on energy costs and help the environment by using solar power as an alternative. Sun-generated power is “clean” energy—it is devoid of pollution, noise, or fossil fuel. Unfortunately, it is grossly underutilized.

Twenty days of sunshine is equal to all of the earth’s oil, coal and natural gas energy combined. That’s pretty powerful and amazing stuff. As a viable natural resource, if tapped, solar energy can power not only your home, but your business, as well.

And it can be a viable, long-term energy alternative for your business. There are a variety of solar panels to choose from, so it’s best to speak with a manufacturer or salesperson to determine the type that best fits your needs. They can also provide information on the types of panels available. You will then need to have the panels professionally mounted for maximum effectiveness. Factors to consider include your overall energy needs in wattage and therefore affect the number of panels you’ll need. And many questions arise when considering switching to an alternative energy source such as solar. How long do the panels last? How much will they cost?

The answers to most of your questions will be determined based on the size of your facility, the average hours of sunlight, the amount of southern exposure, and how much energy you typically require for your business needs. But a solar system for a small business, on average, should run in the $35,000 to $45,000 range for a complete setup, but many states offer rebates that can offset the cost as incentives. Of course, once installed, solar panels will yield considerable savings on your energy bill each month, so it’s
a smart investment.

Once you’ve made the switch, you should be in good shape for a while, as panels are constructed to last for 25 years. They require minimal maintenance (cleaning once or twice a year) and take only a few days to install. They are also built to withstand harsh weather conditions. Yes, you might lose some power when panels are covered by snow, but because they are placed on the roof in the area that gets the most sunlight and are mounted at an angle, snow typically falls off quickly.

So why don’t more businesses make the switch? Because solar power is so underutilized, many business owners may not know enough about it and are, therefore, reluctant or unlikely to take the plunge. But with the right marketing and education about the benefits of and the need for solar power, such panels on rooftops may become as commonplace as computers.

Some very prominent companies have switched to using solar power. These include Wal-Mart, Microsoft, Macy’s, FedEx, Tiffany’s, Target, and Lowe’s. By choosing to go solar, you’ll be following in some big footsteps, while making a cost-effective and environmentally sound business move at the same time.

Story by Jade Acadia