Your small business can save money on energy costs and help the environment by using solar power as an alternative. Sun-generated power is devoid of pollution, noise, or fossil fuel, which makes it “clean” energy.
The power of solar energy is amazing if you consider that 20 days of sunshine is equal to all of the earth’s coal, oil, and natural gas energy combined. It is a very viable natural resource that if tapped can power homes and businesses. Unfortunately, it is grossly underutilized.
To bring solar energy into your business there are a variety of solar panels available. Amorphous silicon panels, known as A-Si, are more durable than other panels designed with crystalline silicon. Solar panel manufacturers and salespeople can provide information on the types of panels available. You will then need to have the panels professionally mounted for maximum effectiveness.
How many panels will you need? How much wattage is necessary? 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 $30,000 to $45,000 range. As incentives, rebates are offered in many states, which can offset some of the cost, not to mention the annual savings you will receive on your electric bill.
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? Business owners may not know enough about solar power and are therefore 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 are in small businesses.
Wal-Mart, Johnson & Johnson, Microsoft, Macy’s, Tiffany’s, FedEx, Toyota, Target, and Lowe’s are all among the more prominent companies to use solar power. So you’ll be following in some esteemed footsteps, while making a cost-effective and environmentally sound business move.