Managing a company that’s based in the Bay Area can be challenging enough with the heightened cost of living and doing business in the region. Finding ways to reduce expenditure, promote brand awareness, and increase profits are the main objectives in this hyper-competitive market that is both saturated yet still filled with opportunity. The foundation for a cost-effective and lucrative endeavor always starts with the planning and sourcing phase. Most businesses have always relied on grid power and therefore don’t even consider the alternative of doing things any other way when devising short-term and long-term investment strategies. However, switching to solar power provides more benefits than you can count on two hands, so it really is a move that’s worth considering, especially when you take the following 18 advantages into account:
1. You Get Tax Credits
First and foremost, since most business-related expenses and investments can be filed as tax deductions, it’s good to know that the same goes for solar. California’s solar investment tax credit (ITC) lets businesses and homeowners file a deduction equal to 30% of the net cost of any solar panel system installed before December 31st, 2020. From January 1st, 2020 onward, the solar ITC will be set at 26%, so now is the best time to make the switch.
According to Semper Solaris (https://sempersolaris.com/) – one of the leading solar companies in San Jose and the Bay Area – the incentive to get that extra 4% has driven a noticeable increase in the number of installations provided throughout their regional service area, which includes the cities of Fremont, Hayward, Napa, Gilroy, Pittsburg, Sacramento, Tracy, San Francisco, Sunnyvale, and San Jose. Semper Solaris has also noted similar growth in their other areas of operation, including San Diego, Los Angeles, Orange County, Bakersfield, Fresno, and the Inland Empire.
2. Eliminating the Monthly Burden of a Utility Bill
Having to take money out of your company account to pay an electricity bill every month is a hassle and a cash flow burden that is no longer necessary with the advent of solar. By switching to solar, not only are you increasing the usable capital that your company has available, but you’re also eliminating an accounting task by not having to worry about whether your power bill has been paid. Paying for power by the kilowatt becomes a thing of the past and will seem like an archaic inconvenience once you get used to supplying your company with energy straight from the sun.
3. Your Company Saves Money in the Long-Term
While installing a solar panel system will require a significant upfront investment, in most cases, you’ll get all of that money back within 5-8 years in the form of savings. From then on, all of the energy your company produces will be free aside from the rare cost of panel and system maintenance. If you view that initial investment period as a necessary means to having free power for the rest of your company’s existence, then you start to realize that postponing such a waiting period is only putting you further behind the other businesses that have already taken this step.
4. Help the Environment
With so many companies contributing to widespread pollution, it’s important for each business owner to make an effort towards implementing eco-friendly policies and practices. Scientists have issued countless warnings that we are on the verge of some very horrible environmental consequences if we don’t drastically reduce the amount of pollution we’re continually generating by the megaton on a daily basis. Reliance on the conventional power grid means supporting a system that still depends heavily on coal and petroleum products.
5. It Shows the Public That You’re an Environmentally Conscious Company
Aside from the actual good deed that you’re committing by reducing your company’s pollutive impact, you’re also making your brand look good in the public eye. By showing that you’re an environmentally conscious company, you can persuade a growing percentage of solar-supporting consumers to opt for your products and services over your competition. This is a particularly effective technique in densely populated business markets like the Bay Area. For example, Apple’s announcement that the company globally operates on 100% renewable energy has probably earned the company many new buyers because the market they serve is so massive, so even gaining an extra 5% of it is worthwhile.
6. Reduced Carbon Footprint
Carbon footprint – the amount of carbon a company is responsible for releasing into the atmosphere – has become an increasingly important metric in recent years. Reducing this number is a top priority for many major corporations, and it should be for small businesses as well. With millions of companies operating in the Bay Area alone, each one has to consider the accumulative effect that their seemingly insignificant carbon footprint is having in the grand scheme of things.
7. The Utility Company Will Buy Your Excess Power
Installing a solar panel system capable of generating more power than your business consumes may be the smartest move because you could be paid a monthly check by your local utility provider for routing that surplus electricity back into the grid. Taking this route can help you pay off the initial installation investment faster while also equipping your company with another source of residual revenue. Plus, you don’t have to do anything to earn this money other than letting your solar panels collect energy and passing it through a meter provided by your local utility provider. They’ll even install the system needed for grid routing, which is a worthwhile setup to consider if your solar panel system is providing more power than needed.
8. The Bay Area Gets Plenty of Sun
With cities like San Francisco getting an average of 259 sunny days and even more during particularly sunny years, it simply doesn’t make sense to let all of that solar energy go to waste. Right now, only a tiny percentage of the area’s solar potential is being utilized, so you might as well be among the first to start taking advantage of one of the most essential natural resources that is freely available to your company – sunlight.
9. Being an Early Adopter of Next-Generation Technology
Numerous marketing studies have proven that progressive businesses tend to last longer and outdo their competition because they adjust to change more effectively. A widespread switch to solar is practically inevitable; it’s not a matter of if but when the majority of the population will have made the switch. By staying ahead of the crowd, you make your business part of the early adopter group which typically enjoys more desirable outcomes and results in the long-term due to enhanced adaptation.
10. All Newly Built Homes in California Will Require Solar After January 2020, So Businesses Should Follow Suit
Yes, that’s right – any new homes built in California after the first day of 2020 will require solar panel installations that are capable of providing enough power to sustain the property’s projected electricity needs. How long will it be before the same requirement is made for businesses? Even if it doesn’t become legally mandatory any time soon, following the residential sector into solar is a wise move for companies to make in general. After all, why would you continue paying for grid power to run your business when you’re going home to a solar-powered home every night – it just doesn’t make sense.
11. Standing Out from the Crowd
Solar panels are usually easy to spot, so you don’t really have to issue press releases or advertise the fact that you’ve switched to solar because people will eventually notice your solar array one way or another. If you were to drive by 100 businesses in the Bay Area, you’d probably only see about 5-10 of them that have solar installed, at the most. Making your business part of that easily noticeable minority is an easy way to generate brand awareness and publicly display your environmental efforts.
12. Payment Plans are Available
The idea of shelling out $20,000 or more for a solar panel system out of pocket can seem a bit intimidating to many small businesses. Luckily, there are plenty of solar financing options in San Jose and other Bay Area cities. With flexible payment plans available, you can greatly reduce the upfront cost of switching to solar panels. This is an especially appealing route in the Bay Area, as the cost of solar panels in San Francisco and surrounding cities can be quite expensive compared to the rest of the country.
13. Another Potential Market to Service
By having a solar setup actively generating power on your property, you’ll gradually become familiar with how the system works and is maintained. If you take the time to become familiar with solar panel installations, that could be another service to provide and industry to cater to. With the state set to require solar on all new residential projects after 2020, there’s plenty of room for opportunity. In fact, the industry is going to need more installers if Governor Newsom is to meet his proposed goal of constructing 3.5 million new homes in California by 2025.
14. Increasing Property Value
If you own the building where your business is located, adding a solar setup will increase the property value and make it a more desirable location for buyers and tenants in the event that you decide to sell or rent. While the average monetary value returned will usually be close to the cost of the solar panel system itself, the perceived value is what really matters here. The fact is, there are certain parties who will be persuaded to buy or rent your property based solely on the fact that it has a solar panel setup.
15. Boost Employee Morale
Switching to solar can help you create a positive company culture with higher employee morale because people are generally prouder of working for environmentally conscious companies. Additionally, you’ll be attracting like-minded professionals and clients by showing that you are part of the solution and not the problem.
16. Increasing Self-Sufficiency
Every experienced business owner knows that it’s never good to create unnecessary dependencies. The more self-sufficient your company is, the less vulnerable it will be to potential mishaps. Since electricity is a mission-critical component for every business nowadays, the ability to secure this fundamental provision independently can go a long way in helping you attain maximum self-sufficiency.
17. Supporting the Local Economy
Since most solar companies in San Jose and other Bay Area cities are based within the region, by switching to solar you’re also helping to stimulate the local economy as well. Creating economic stimulus in your area is always a good thing for business owners to do because it increases the overall wealth within the market you’re serving. What goes around comes around, so investing with local solar installers will make your company have a greater positive impact on the community.
18. Minimal Maintenance
Properly installed solar panels will require a minimum amount of maintenance and are often backed by extensive warranties. For example, Semper Solaris offers a 50-year Platinum Protection warranty that guarantees you’ll be covered against most kinds of damaging incidents or panel malfunctions throughout the suggested life cycle of the product. In general, solar panels are highly durable and can easily last up to 5 decades or more without any maintenance other than occasional cleaning.
Don’t Be Left Behind in the Solar Movement
In closing, one final reason why every business owner in the Bay Area should consider switching to solar is because it’s unavoidably going to be the primary energy-producing technology of the future. Any successful entrepreneur knows that there’s no sense in stagnating and procrastinating in the world of business. If you know that eventually, you’re going to make the switch, why not go ahead and get it out of the way before your competitors? Switching to solar before 2020 would be the best time to get in on the wave because, after that, solar is going to start becoming so prevalent that the tax credits and other incentives will be gradually reduced.