How solar energy can benefit your small business

By Ella Hendrix

Global warming, largely attributed to the burning of fossil fuels, is having a detrimental effect on our planet – the polar ice caps are melting, sea levels are rising, and there are obvious increases in temperatures all across the globe. At the same time, rising energy prices mean that average business energy bills have soared by over 100% in the last seven years (statistic according to Bonhill Group.) With this in mind, many business owners are looking towards clean, renewable sources for their energy and solar power has become a popular alternative for many businesses. Below, we discuss why you should switch to renewable energy and how solar can benefit your small business.

The importance of green energy

We have already discussed some of the negative effects that global warming is currently having on our environment. Scientists warn of further irreversible consequences to our planet if we don’t take action now to stop global warming. The burning of traditional fossil fuels such as coal and gas, releases carbon emissions into the atmosphere that cause pollution and environmental harm. Whereas renewable energy like solar, provides clean, inexhaustible sources that don’t produce any greenhouse gases or polluting emissions. This is why it’s so important for businesses to become more energy efficient by using clean energy sources, and doing their bit to help fight climate change.

Reduced energy bills

As mentioned above, business energy bills have soared over the past few years and it is predicted that prices will continue to rise at a similar rate. This means that for most businesses, gas and electricity charges now make up a considerable chunk of their monthly expenditures.

Having solar panels installed can result in substantial energy savings as it effectively allows your business to forward buy all of your electricity at a set price. This means that you won’t be affected by any future energy price rises. Solar panels allow you to generate your own electricity. So, once your business has paid off the solar system and installation costs, your business can then enjoy a free electric supply for anywhere up to 40 years! Energy experts at MyPower explain how businesses should typically pay off their solar power buying and installation costs in 6-9 years and see a typical return on investment of 11-16% or higher.

Depending on your location, your business may also actually make an additional income from solar. For example, in Great Britain, the government’s Feed in Tariff (FiT). Allows business owners who choose to install solar panels to receive a set payment for any electricity they generate and don’t use but export back to the grid. This payment is set for the next 20 years and so now is the perfect time to switch to solar and earn an additional income from any energy you don’t use.

Creates a good brand image

In today’s age of environmental decline, more and more people are looking for ways to become greener and one way to do this is by supporting sustainable businesses. Having a bad environmental reputation can have serious negative effects on the overall profitability and success of a company, as nowadays consumers want to engage with businesses that follow ethical practices that match their own beliefs. Switching to solar is a highly visible way of showing your customers your commitment to the environment. This creates a good brand image that is likely to appeal more to your customers and give you a competitive advantage over similar businesses in your industry.

Complies with CRS

Corporate social responsibility (CSR) means that a company takes steps to ensure that there are positive social and environmental effects associated with the way the business operates. According to a study conducted by Cone Communication/Ebiquity; “91 percent of global consumers expect companies to do more than make a profit. The study found that companies that support environmental issues maintain large number of loyal customers, whereas 90 percent of customers would boycott a company if they learned of irresponsible or deceptive business practices.” Switching to green renewable energy sources such as solar, is a great way for businesses to enhance their corporate social responsibility image by taking an active role in addressing environmental issues. This is likely to appeal more to customers, which will increase business and overall revenue in the long run.

Final thought

Solar is a major renewable energy source that can offer many businesses the opportunity to cut operational costs while reducing carbon emissions. Switching to solar demonstrates to your customer and stakeholders that you take sustainability and environmental protection seriously. Opting to power your business with clean and efficient solar power will enhance your brand image, which will help you to create a more profitable, greener business all round.


Ella Hendrix is a versatile freelance writer, currently covering articles on energy efficiency, climate change and home energy.

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