Are Solar Panels a Good Investment for Businesses?

April 02, 2021 by: Jerilyn Alvarez
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Powering your business while keeping utility costs low has many companies turning to alternative energy solutions. Solar panels are one such option as a business owner has to evaluate their return on investment, installation costs, and other factors. Here are some factors to take into considerate on whether it will be a good investment to get solar panels for storage facilities.

Costs

The expense of installing and maintaining solar panels will probably be a deciding factor for many businesses. How much will the overall installation be? What maintenance will need to be performed?

One advantage is that many government organizations are offering grant programs and tax credit rebates that provide incentives if you take the solar panel route. These credits and rebates can allow you to regain money that was spent with the installation and lower your overall out-of-pocket expenses.

Another advantage is that many solar companies offer financing. A business can spread out their payments so that the large initial cost is not such a hit to their working capital.

Maintenance of the panels should be stated clearly in the contract that you have with the solar company. You want to ensure that they will periodically monitor the solar panels for issues and perform repairs as stated in the agreement.

An expense that cannot be avoided is property insurance. Pricing offered by major insurance companies is very similar to what you would have to pay to get a high-end roof installed.

While most insurance companies will cover solar panels on roofs, there will usually be an additional charge. Comparison shopping for insurance companies that provide the best rates should be on the list if you decide to get solar panels. Make sure the policy does not have a separate deductible and check over the fine print carefully so you understand what you are getting into.

Vendor Selection

commercial solar panels is widening as the technology advances. You should be able to develop a list of top vendors to go with while evaluating the company's experience and technical expertise.

Like any company that you plan to do business with, you will want a previous client list to gain recommendations and to learn about what it was like to work with the vendor. You may also wish to seek a solar panel company that has extensive work with the utility company that you currently have to make the process as simple as possible.

Marketing and Branding

Anything positive about your company can be marketable. Using the solar panels as a selling point to bring in customers may set you apart from the competition and appeal to people who are eco-conscious.

You can send out press releases in conjunction with the solar panel company to spread the word. You may also advertise it in tv commercials, signs, social media, and other places. Whether it will bring in more customers is not easy to predict, yet it is a branding opportunity that you probably do not want to pass up.

Return on Investment

You typically will not be able to figure out your return on investment in the first few weeks or months. It will take time to monitor your utility usage and net operating income to figure out your expenses versus the long-term savings.

Every business has varying operating expenses and utility needs. While solar panels will be appropriate for some places, others may need to balance their electrical usage with traditional utility methods. It may take anywhere from 3 years to 7 years to truly learn what the return on investment is for your business and whether it will be an option that you wish to continue using.

Eco-Friendly Contributions

For some companies, the benefits to the environment and the community will be worth the installation expenses and operating costs to place in solar panels. Generating your own energy can help to lower dependence on fossil fuels and other limited natural resources. So placing in solar panels may be a more ethical and moral benefit to some business owners.

Review the Benefits with the Disadvantages

There are many benefits with getting solar panels, such as marketing opportunities, potential energy savings, and helping the environment. Yet you also have to figure out if these benefits will outweigh the disadvantages of installation expenses, rising property value costs, and waiting on a return on investment.

It may be a worthwhile endeavor as you need to evaluate your utility usage and available vendors in your area who can perform the installation work. Always take advantage of the programs and rebates that are available to make the switch and be ready for any unexpected hassles that could occur.