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Why businesses should consider on-site energy generation

24 August 2023

Successful businesses seek competitive advantages wherever they can find them. A less-expensive supplier can allow you to undercut your competitors; an effective marketing campaign can bring in new customers; a brilliant new employee can shift culture and lead to innovation.

One area where you can streamline your operation, cut costs, and meet your environmental goals is your energy use. Investing in on-site power generation gives your business incredible advantages and mitigates against several types of risk. Here are some of the reasons your company should consider on-site energy generation:

Environmental implications

Environmental concerns are a primary driver when companies or individuals explore on-site power generation. When you generate your own energy supply using sustainable means like sun, wind, hydro, or geothermal energy, you reduce the environmental damage caused by your operations. Without changing anything else, you decrease your carbon footprint. For any ecology-minded company, that makes on-site generation well worth considering.

Reduced energy bills

If you make what you use, you don’t have to buy it. Whether that means a restaurant growing its herbs or a company handling marketing in-house, one of the best ways for companies to save money is to reduce the supplies they purchase from others. Energy is no exception. Adding on-site power generation means you can make much or even all of the power you need to run your business rather than having to purchase it.

Your electricity procurement becomes something you manage largely in-house, which can reduce your energy bills to almost nothing. If you generate more than you use, you may even be able to sell back some of the electricity your system captures.

You may also see financial benefits through tax credits, local utility rebates, or other incentives.
While how much you save depends on your use, grid utility rates, and how much generation capacity you install, you will see dramatically reduced energy expenses starting the day your system is installed and continuing for years or decades to come.

Consider working with commercial energy consultants to help determine how much you can save and what system makes sense for your business. They can help you decide on the best approach, find applicable rebates and tax programs, and understand what type and size of on-site generation system fits your goals. They will also aid you in understanding how an on-site system will pair with your current energy contract.

Volatility protections

If much of your energy is generated on-site instead of being purchased from an energy company, you have protection against rate hikes. Paying a higher price for 40% of your energy is better than paying more for 100% of your use.

Off-setting grid consumption with wind, solar, or other on-site generation mitigates against ever-increasing electricity rates. So while the competition is paying more for their power, you can use the savings to invest in your business instead.

Reliability improvements

Many aspects of running a business rely on having redundant systems. If your first plan fails, you fall back on the next one. Given that energy supply is at the heart of nearly any business’s operations, it makes sense to have a backup source. If grid power goes down, do you want to shut down operations for the duration of the outage? If you have on-site power generation, there’s another option. Operations can continue as usual because your system will provide what the grid can’t.

If you include battery storage capacity, it won’t even matter whether conditions during a grid outage are ideal for your generation system. At night, you can use the stored power from your solar panels, and in still weather conditions, your batteries will allow you to run off energy gathered by your wind turbine.

For most businesses, it’s not wise to rely entirely on on-site power because you don’t have any redundancy if your system is down or conditions aren’t ideal for generating electricity. In most cases, a layered electricity procurement system is best. Having both grid power and on-site generation makes it extremely unlikely you’ll ever be without the energy required to keep your business running and generating income.

Increased property values

Your energy-generation equipment isn’t just valuable to you. It’s valuable to the next owner of your property. Your property’s ability to provide power for the next owner can help it sell quickly and at a higher price.

Example-setting

Switching to partial on-site generation makes your company a leader at the forefront of technology and environmental responsibility. That’s something you can feel great about. It’s also something that eco-minded customers, and job seekers will note when making decisions. You can even use your focus on sustainability as a marketing tool. Consumers can feel great about supporting a business attempting to be a good steward of natural resources. You’ll be setting an example for other companies and community members.

Investing in on-site power generation is investing in your company’s future, stability, competitiveness, and reputation. If you haven’t already, consider adding energy-generating equipment to your business so you can start reaping the benefits.

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