The future of solar power and how it can impact SMEs
Phil Foster shares his thoughts on the future of solar power and what this may mean for small businesses.2
While less than 2 per cent of the world’s electricity is currently generated through solar photovoltaic technology, a recent report estimated that this figure could increase to as much as 13 per cent by the year 2030.1
What about solar panels for small businesses?
Solar panels aren’t just for homeowners; a growing number of companies are now starting to cater to businesses of all shapes and sizes who are looking to become a little greener. Switching to solar power can help to lower your bills and your carbon footprint.
In the past we have explored how businesses can invest in being green, and it’s never too late to start thinking about reducing your carbon footprint! Investing in solar panels for your business is the perfect place to start. Here are a few reasons why you should get on board.
Cut your business expenses
The first and biggest advantage of installing solar panels is that your business expenses will be cut. Although you will have to pay for the initial investment, panels can pay for themselves in just a few years. Thanks to government initiatives such as the feed-in tariffs schemes, you can even start to earn money back from the electricity you generate, without having to pay for power from the National Grid. To learn more about the current feed-in tariff rates, and how to apply, Ofgem is your go-to source.2
Phil Gilbert, head of business solutions at E.ON, says: “Energy costs can have a significant impact on a business’ bottom line, and generating your own power can put control firmly into your own hands. Cutting down waste, using smart technology to manage buildings and possibly generating your own power are all options to consider.
“Investing in energy efficiency or in new generation technologies such as solar make sound investments, often paying back in only a few years. Across Europe we are seeing customers actually profiting from improving their energy efficiency. As well as the bottom line impact, investing in new energy solutions can also unlock new growth and improve productivity and overall competitiveness.”
Boost your reputation and earn the public’s trust
With climate change and the environment grabbing the headlines so often, people are naturally becoming more green-focused and are more conscious about the companies they choose to work with. Adding solar panels to your business can show people that you are committed to helping the environment, and is certainly something that is worth shouting about!
Annabelle Bean from Romag, says that the benefits of solar energy to SMEs can really go far beyond saving money:
“Nothing will position your company as an environmentally-conscious brand more than investing in renewable energy for your business. Not only will you be able to have the peace of mind that you are using green energy, but the fact that you are doing so provides a great PR opportunity.
“Being a sustainable business counts for a lot in the current marketplace, where the spotlight is well and truly on companies who do not prove their environmental credentials. When your customers see that you are setting yourself apart from the crowd and investing in a cleaner future, you will soon build up increased brand loyalty and trust.”
Improve your carbon footprint
By cutting your dependence on electricity generated from burning gas, coal and oil, and instead turning to renewable forms of energy, you will be helping to drastically reduce your business’ carbon footprint.
There are so many small things that businesses can do to cut their carbon footprint, but solar panels are a huge step forward towards our goal of slashing emissions. The technology is developing further and becoming more readily available both to domestic and business customers.
Even if the installation of solar panels is a little outside the budget of some SMEs, always advocate using greener sources of energy. Work with a number of different independent suppliers, some source a proportion of their energy supply from renewables, to give you a wider choice when switching your energy supplier.
There is no doubt about it; clean energy is the future. More and more countries are stepping forward to announce their commitment to being greener, most recently, the US, Canada and Mexico who together pledged that 50 per cent of their power would come from clean energy by the year 2025. That’s a huge promise, and solar power is going to play an enormous part in hitting such ambitious targets.
About the author
Phil Foster is managing director of Love Energy Savings find out more at www.loveenergysavings.com
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