Solar Power in the Commercial Sector
Renewable energy is a hot topic these days, causing many homeowners and businesses to ask themselves whether or not a move to solar energy makes sense. With the lowering price of solar panels, government rebates and more accessibility to power storage now seems like a good time to get your feet wet in the renewable energy craze. As with most business decisions the choice to move to solar energy should be thoroughly weighed and measured. Luckily, as your trusted Edmonton commercial electrical company we have compiled a list of the top three advantages and disadvantages for businesses thinking about going solar.
Advantages of Commercial Solar Power
One of the first things that come to mind when considering solar power is cost savings on electricity bills. Although the chances of eliminating your energy bill is rare the savings can be substantial over time, especially in Edmonton where electricity costs can more than double in the long winter months. Of course, the savings are directly tied into the initial investment and highly dependent on the size, location, and efficiency of the solar installation.
For the most part, solar panels are easy to maintain and reliable sources of energy. Depending on the make or brand, solar panels can easily provide efficient energy for 25 years or longer. Once installed commercial solar panels require little ongoing maintenance, usually only a yearly cleaning.
Corporate Social Responsibility
Today’s society loves to support businesses that believe in sustainable practices. The choice to invest in a solar power system isn’t only made for financial reasons. The use of solar energy is also a statement that businesses make to both their employees and their customers that they care about sustainable business practices and corporate social responsibility. This demonstration will attract customers and employees alike and set an example for others in the industry.
Disadvantages of Commercial Solar Power
A consideration that many neglect to take into account when getting excited about solar power is that not all locations are optimal and can limit the benefits greatly. Consideration of business location is especially important in northern locations such as Edmonton where, in winter months, the sun is lower and closer to the southern horizon for the majority of the day. Having a building without any access to a southern exposure will limit the amount of electricity you will generate. In addition to exposure, there are many regulatory restrictions that could apply to the installation of solar panels and energy storage within buildings.
Costly Capital Investment
Deciding to utilize solar power is a costly investment upfront. Depending on the size of the business, the number of solar panels required and what type of power storage you choose expect to be paying in the tens of thousands with the average cost being around $2.77 or $3.02 per watt. Making sure that solar power fist in your overall business strategy is recommended before making the commitment.
Long Term Commitment
The long-term commitment to solar power goes hand in hand with the initial capital investment costs. To be able to see the return on investment a commitment of at least 15 years may be required depending on the initial investment. It is good to keep in mind that in Alberta the energy output for solar panels (based on full sunlight hours) is 1,276 hours. This means that implementing a solar power system will not eliminate the energy bill, only reduce it.
Overall making the move to invest in solar power may not be viable for all businesses; but can prove to be extremely beneficial for those who do their research and invest wisely, making sure that solar power will align and fully integrate with their overall business stratagem. At Action Electrical will be starting to install solar power commercially in the near future. If you have any questions about solar powering your business or need commercial electrical work completed in Edmonton give Action Electrical a call today!
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