Clean energy is not just for big corporations with enough funds to make decisions solely for the environmental good. For many small business owners, going solar may be a strategic choice with significant financial advantages. If you are wondering if solar is a feasible choice for your company ask yourself these four questions.
- How much do you pay for electricity?
By some estimates, the average commercial real estate owner saves 75 percent on their electricity bill by switching to solar, but there are a lot of online resources available to estimate how much cash your company can save on its power bill monthly. The greater your electrical bill, the less time it takes for the machine to pay for itself, so companies operating in places with higher power rates can realize considerable financial gains from investing in solar PV.
- Choose your equipment sensibly
On the other hand, you could realize that the most expensive panels do not necessarily translate into the best savings for your individual needs. Be certain that you’re working with a solar supplier who will help you navigate your many choices based on cost and installation costs, energy capacity, and how long your solar panels are expected to last.
Solar can be a wise investment with a solid rate of return, but funding a solar power system is a complex process with many factors. Cash purchases yield the best savings at the best upfront price. Those interested in reaping the benefits of ownership without buying their system outright can fund the purchase with a solar loan, which permits you pay off the expense of the machine through fixed monthly payments. For many business owners, it makes more sense to lease their solar PV system using a solar rental, or power purchase agreement (PPA), which brings instant savings with little if any cash down, although monthly payments on a solar rental or PPA generally increase at a predetermined rate each year.
- Consider short-term price vs. long-term savings
To ascertain their true return on investment, business owners should think about the long-term advantage of moving solar beyond its original cost and instant savings. Due to increased financial incentives and reduced installation costs, the purchase price of solar has diminished in recent years while energy costs continue to rise. Purchasing solar might help stabilize your energy costs and save you from the increasing and frequently fluctuating cost of electricity purchased from a utility. Oftentimes, solar may even increase property value, helping you to see added financial gain down the road.