Small business owners are caught in a sort of middle ground. While operating costs and electricity needs will be much higher than the average home, at the same time this is not some multi-million dollar company with enough revenue to install a large solar power system. Is going solar a good choice for small businesses? Well, it’s like the saying goes (roughly): What’s good for the homeowner is good for the Mini-Mart.
The fact is that solar power is almost always a smart move across the board, from Wal-Mart to Wally’s Feed & Pet Supply. It all depends on the business and the business owner. How much are you able/willing to spend up front? How much power do you use? What size of a system do you need? Questions like these abound for anyone; they just get a little more complicated (i.e., numbers get a lot bigger).
Owning a business also comes with certain pressures. For instance, if the business goes, so goes the home. It’s not easy for some owners to take what is often seen as a significant risk, especially when small businesses are suffering as they are now. Still, here are some reasons why solar is considered a smart business choice:
- Incentives. Right off the bat, business owners (and now homeowners as well) can deduct 30% off purchase and installation costs via tax credits. Many states also offer lucrative rebates and incentives to businesses. Federal incentives alone would bring a $100,000 system down to $70,000, plus whichever state incentive applies.
- Fuel and Energy Costs. Despite a recent plunge, oil and gas prices are expected to rise once again. And the sputtering economy is expected by many to cause significant inflation problems. In other words, it is going to get real expensive to run even a small business. Installing solar panels could mitigate the price hike.
- Environment. Social responsibility is also key and generates a lot of business these days as eco-friendly consumers look to reward progressive businesses. But more importantly, businesses use A LOT more energy than the average home and contribute that much more to climate change. Sure businesses use more energy, but they also save more energy by going solar.
- Spur Economy and Advertising. Installing a solar system also supports the local economy by promoting high-paying jobs in the community. For a local business, it can be seen as an investment that benefits everyone. It also drums up high-profile advertising. The vast majority of the population supports solar and renewable energy. As mentioned above, a good portion of that customer base are singling out eco-friendly businesses to spend their ever more precious money.
It is hard to find reasons not to go solar, especially for the small business. We are facing an age of increased fossil fuel energy costs, an inflated dollar, and recession. Going solar now is most likely a wise investment. Some businesses can save up in the hundreds or thousands of dollars per month on electricity and even a million dollar solar system often pays for itself in less than 10 years.
Photo by SolarCity