Why it’s time for your company to go solar23 February 2023
Converting your company to solar power is a significant decision with financial, ecological, and branding implications. As prices for solar technology drop, more and more businesses are using solar technology to power their operations. Here are eight ways your business can benefit from solar energy.
Lower energy bills
When solar panels account for part of your electricity procurement, you buy less electricity. That equals savings every time you power up your equipment or turn on the lights.
From the moment your system is installed, you will see a dramatic decrease in your energy bills. As energy prices continue to rise, your savings rate should also continue to increase, meaning the numbers get even better over time.
Some energy providers will even buy back the extra power you generate. These “net-metering” contracts allow you to sell excess energy you produce but don’t use back to the power company, meaning you could see a credit on your energy bills.
Protection from future energy cost increases
Electricity costs for large power customers vary from one location to another and from year to year. However, data collected on electricity costs in major Canadian cities between 2018 and 2022 show increasing costs during that time period for cities across Canada from Calgary and Edmonton to Winnipeg and Halifax. For businesses still purchasing all of their energy needs from outside sources, there is little they can do to shield themselves from these increases.
If you have your own means of generating power, you are sheltered from some of those increases. No matter how expensive electricity gets, you can continue generating some or even all of your power using free sunlight. That’s why solar panels are such an important step toward protecting your company’s future. Solar panels ensure a fixed rate for at least some of your company’s electricity.
As the effects of climate change become more evident and frightening, not only individuals but entire companies get more concerned about how their actions will affect the future. Solar energy reduces the impact your business has on the environment. While looking for ways to conserve energy and operate more efficiently is a significant step toward reducing your carbon footprint, solar technology can reduce your emissions even further by ensuring much of the energy you use comes from a renewable source.
Brand image enhancement
As more people and companies prioritize environmental concerns when they make buying decisions, the positive impact of your solar panels can reach well beyond your energy bill. Going solar sends a message to potential customers, stakeholders, and your community that you care about sustainability. You can even think of solar panels on your roof as a billboard that advertises your commitment to the environment.
Increased value of your business
Solar energy can quickly make your business worth more in two ways. First, you reap the benefits of your new environmentally friendly public image. Second, your physical property will be worth more with a functioning solar system. Sharing values with customers and more valuable real estate both mean a boost to the overall value of your business.
As the need to address climate change becomes more apparent, governments worldwide are finding ways to incentivize green energy production. That means you may see a break on your company’s tax bill if you install a system of solar panels.
In Canada, class 43.2 of the Income Tax Regulation allows for increased depreciation of your solar panels, which typically means you can write off 100% of their value in the first year of the purchase. In the United States, the Investment Tax Credit (ITC) and Production Tax Credit (PTC) both grant significant tax savings for going solar. The ITC allows you to reduce your federal tax liability in the year of installation. The PTC is a per-kilowatt-hour credit for solar-generated electricity, meaning your tax savings continue past the initial installation. Your local government or energy provider may also have other incentives, rebates, or tax credits available.
All of this means that investing in a solar panel system for your business can save on your tax bill as well as your electricity bill.
When the power goes out, you can face disappointed customers, missed deadlines, ruined merchandise, and damaged equipment. When some of your electricity is generated in-house, you have an automatic backup system when the electric grid fails.
If you choose to invest in a battery system, you can use your solar-generated energy even after the sun sets. That power is always there as a backup, even if you and your staff have gone home for the day.
Having your own energy generation creates a redundancy that can keep your business running even if the utility company has an outage.
More stable budgeting
Your company’s solar technology will shield you from much of the volatility in the energy sector. Your budget won’t be subject to significant, unpredictable oscillations in your monthly energy expenses. Being able to predict this major monthly expense more accurately frees up your capital for other uses because you will no longer need to have a large cushion to cover unexpected energy costs.
Whether from seasonal cycles or changes in the overall energy market, a solar array can decrease fluctuations in your energy bills, helping you know ahead of time what your costs will be.
Going solar starts benefitting your business from the day the panels are installed, and those benefits continue and grow as time passes and electricity rates rise, which makes solar panels worth considering as part of a comprehensive energy strategy. For assistance in determining how to best integrate solar into your energy plan, consider working with an renewable energy consultant. They can help you run the numbers and also assist you with finding other ways to decrease your company’s energy costs and increase your sustainability.
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