Solar power isn’t just the future — it’s the present. A new solar project is installed every two minutes, and more than 135,000 installations were completed within the first half of 2015 alone. Small businesses everywhere are embracing commercial solar power systems, and it’s time your company caught up. If you need more convincing, here are the top nine reasons why your business can benefit from switching to solar power.
1. Receive Tax Credits
One of the biggest reasons to switch to solar in the next year is to make the cutoff for the federal tax credit. If you purchase a solar power system before December 31, 2016, your business is eligible for a 30 percent federal tax credit. Furthermore, businesses can deduct 85 percent of the value of the solar power system from their taxes. In addition to the tax benefits, some utility companies offer rebates to cover a portion of the solar power system cost. With these three benefits alone, you can significantly reduce the upfront costs of a system.
2. Establish a Consistent Energy Bill
Many states’ electric rates increase annually, and as we consume more energy, costs will rise at a faster rate. With solar power, you can lock in the cost of your energy bill and avoid the volatility of fluctuating energy costs. After running your system for a few months, you can identify how much you spend and you can expect your bill to remain consistent every year.
3. Save Money
The most obvious reason to switch to solar is to reduce your monthly energy bill. However, many businesses don’t realize that they can actually save money and make up for the cost of the entire solar power system within a few years. EnergySage marketplace data reveals that the average commercial property owner’s electricity bill drops 75 percent — from $1,950 to $500 — after switching to solar. After the three to seven years it typically takes businesses to pay off their solar panel systems, you can enjoy free energy for the system’s lifetime, which is often upwards of 35 years.
4. Increase Your Property Value
Multiple studies show that buildings with solar power systems have a higher property value and sell faster at a higher price. Despite increasing your property value, a solar power system won’t increase your property taxes as other additions or building improvements would. If eventually you decide to sell your property, your solar power system can help increase the list price and the speed of the sale.
5. Reduce Your Carbon Footprint
Buildings account for 39 percent of all carbon emissions in the United States. You can cut up to four tons of emissions each year by switching to solar.
6. Be Seen as a “Green” Business in the Public Eye
Installing a solar power system shows that your business is committed to sustainability. Many consumers and communities are more likely to support businesses that are environmentally responsible, and 30 percent of consumers plan to increase their spending at socially responsible companies. Going solar also offers you the opportunity to promote your business within your community and raise awareness on the benefits of saving energy. By building your brand as eco-friendly, you can improve your company image and increase revenue.
7. Boost Your Team’s Morale
Just as consumers want to shop at eco-friendly businesses, employees want to work for socially responsible companies. Nearly three-quarters of Americans want to work for an environmentally aware company that promotes corporate responsibility. Multiple studies have shown that the more positive employees feel about their work, the higher their engagement and morale. Show your employees that you are committed to sustainability and you can inspire them to support your company’s mission.
8. Support Your Local Economy
Jobs in the solar sector are typically higher-paying jobs that aren’t outsourced. When you purchase a solar power system, workers in your local area complete the installation and you support your community’s economy. As more businesses switch to solar, more U.S. jobs will be generated in the green sector, resulting in a stronger and more sustainable economy.
9. Enjoy a Reliable, Maintenance-Free System
Solar power systems require minimal maintenance. You don’t have to clean them or adjust their positioning. Once they are installed, you can expect reliable service for at least 25 years. As many systems come with a warranty, you can feel safe knowing your system is covered should something happen.
With such a long list of benefits, your business can’t afford not to consider going solar. Get started by researching reputable solar panel companies in your local area to discuss the opportunities for installing a solar power system on your building.