You’re thinking about going solar. But you don’t know what you don’t know. So, what are the most common questions businesses ask when exploring the benefits of solar?
1. Why should I spend time or money on solar right now?
A: Solar Technologies’ research reveals three primary reasons organizations choose to invest in a solar strategy:
- Financial benefit
- Positive environmental impact
- Brand elevation
If your business strategy aligns with any or all of these reasons, it probably makes sense to investigate whether commercial solar is right for your organization.
Update (November 2022): The CPUC and our local utilities are proposing major changes that will impact the savings potential and payback period for both residential and commercial solar customers. It is more important than ever to lock in your rates before the utilities make drastic changes.
2. How would my bottom line improve with solar?
A: The vast majority of companies focus on the financial benefits of solar. Although solar isn’t always the right choice for everyone, many companies can increase their bottom line significantly—primarily in regard to utility bills.
Here’s how they do it:
- Paying a lower price for electricity by entering into a power purchase agreement (PPA)
- Generating free electricity by leasing or purchasing a system
- Reducing utility demand charges by also integrating an effective energy storage solution
3. Why now? Shouldn’t I wait for prices to drop or technology to improve?
A: There are a few reasons why going solar sooner than later makes a lot of sense:
- Favorable policies and incentives for installing commercial solar panel systems that are available today might not be in the future.
- Current technology is quite advanced already thanks to continual innovation over the last few decades. As a result, it’s unlikely that we’ll see the same rapid rate of increase in the efficiency of photovoltaic (PV) solar systems.
- In many cases, even if better policies or incentives are rolled out, or slight technology improvements increase power production, the money you’d save in the near term by going solar could easily outweigh the benefits you might gain from waiting.
4. How can solar directly improve my business?
A: There are two primary ways that going solar can give your business a boost:
- An increased bottom line (see above) frees up money to invest in other strategic areas of your business, which could increase your sales and/or profitability.
- More and more consumers are embracing green businesses. Multiple studies indicate that consumers conscientiously choose forward-thinking companies that demonstrate environmental sustainability and corporate social responsibility. Essentially, you’ll gain a competitive advantage over companies that don’t follow a triple bottom line framework or implement a green strategy.
5. If solar is so great, why don’t all businesses install it?
A: Actually, a lot of well-known companies have gone solar. For those who haven’t, many times it’s simply because they don’t yet know about the full range of benefits you’ve just read. The fact is, the cost of solar makes it an increasingly viable money-saving solution.
In other cases, businesses might think that purchasing a system outright (versus leasing or entering into a PPA) is their only solution. As a result, they believe they must first accumulate the necessary capital or secure a loan.
By talking with an independent energy consultant or a reputable solar provider, you can get the insight and expert advice to help guide you down the right path for your business.
This post originally appeared on the SunPower Business Feed.