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A Short Guide for Businesses Adopting Solar Technology

According to Allied Market Research’s report on the solar PV panel market, the industry accounted for $108.4 billion in 2020 and is expected to reach $641.1 billion by 2030. Interestingly, the commercial and industrial segment is projected to manifest the highest growth of 12.1% from 2021 to 2030, due to fast-paced urbanization and industrialization across the globe, as well as the demand for cheaper power. Many companies are looking into sustainable energy to meet customer expectations as well. In this article, we’ll cover the basics for businesses planning to go solar.

The Benefits of Solar-Powered Business Operations

The clearest benefit that solar-powered businesses enjoy is the huge reduction in their electricity bill. Compared to ordinary households, retail complexes, offices, and other commercial buildings have higher power requirements. Converting their rooftop — an otherwise unused space — into a solar one allows them to harness energy directly from the sun and generate free electricity after their initial investment. Not only does this allow businesses to mitigate inflation and price volatility, but they can also claim state and federal tax incentives. There is also a hidden benefit for organizations switching to solar power. As businesses offset their environmental footprint by producing energy without pollution, they can establish their reputation as green and eco-friendly. Many companies have yet to go solar, so it’s important to take the competitive advantage while you can and improve your brand image with stakeholders. Clean energy also means reduced harmful carbon emissions, which can threaten employee health and wellbeing. As we discussed in our post called “Is Your Business on Top of Its Corporate Sustainability Initiatives?”, 70% of Americans believe that it’s important for companies to help make the world a better place. Top talent is likewise committed to sustainability, so priming your organization as an environmentally conscious one can help attract and retain skilled employees.

Financing The Shift to Solar

Thanks to advances in modern technology, the cost of installing solar panels has decreased over the years. However, it can still be a significant investment depending on your energy requirements, the quality of the system, and difficulties in installation. A 30kW solar power system would be ideal for small to medium-sized businesses, but this could have a price tag ranging from $40,000 - $70,000 — which you may not have upfront. Maryville University’s feature on business loans notes how there are different ways you can finance your solar project. If you are a small business, for example, the US Small Business Administration (SBA) brokers microloans for inventory, supplies, machinery, and other items valued at $50,000 or less. The SBA also helps broker 7(a) loans for buying suppliers and securing short- and long-term capital, as well as 504 loans suitable for companies with a tangible net worth of less than $15 million — so you can receive green financing with less risk. Aside from the SBA, banks and credit unions offer different loans as well, while many solar panel system providers offer flexible, installment-based plans worth looking into.

Making the Most of Your Company’s Solar Panels

Solar power is a highly reliable source of natural energy. If your business can meet the requirements, you can even take advantage of the investment tax credits (ITC) offered through “Build Back Better” agenda, which allocates $320 billion in clean energy tax credits. ITC eligible properties can tap into 22% tax credits, along with other state initiatives that help reduce the cost of solar panels. Companies with commercial buildings, agricultural, and manufacturing operations can easily make a nice return on investment with solar power, considering their energy usage and available government grants. Contact Complete Solar today to find out how we can help you supplement corporate sustainability efforts.

Written exclusively for

by Andrea Chatsworth

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