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6 Reasons Solar Power Is a Smart Choice for Businesses

Thursday, October 09, 2014 7:44am

Solar power is big news across Australia, with even major corporations making the switch. For example, furniture giant IKEA began construction in July on the largest single rooftop solar system in Australia, and has pledged that all future Australian stores will also use solar power. But the solar revolution is not limited to only the biggest retail chains. From small businesses to residential customers, Australians are increasingly making the leap. Roughly 1 percent of Australia’s electrical energy is generated by solar power, and the amount of installed photovoltaic capacity in the country has increased dramatically since 2010. 

Here are 6 reasons that solar power is a smart choice for any business./p>

1. Environmental Responsibility

Here in Australia, we are blessed with open skies and quite a lot of sunshine. Estimates show that the Melbourne area gets an average of 5.5 hours of sunlight per day on average year round (known as Peak Sun Hours). With so much renewable power available to harness, relying on outdated systems is seen by many as irresponsible and old-fashioned. Fossil fuels are in limited supply, and we must all work together to solve the global energy crisis. They also emit greenhouse gases, generate toxic waste and require people to work in potentially dangerous jobs. Regardless of what your company’s brand happens to be, switching to solar power sends a powerful message to your potential customers that your company is forward-thinking, innovative and environmentally responsible./p>

2. Lower Electricity Costs

Although going entirely off the grid is not practical for many people, the energy that you generate with your solar panels is free. On the other hand, electricity costs continue to skyrocket. As electric prices go up, paying the electric company for every bit of energy you use becomes a remarkable waste of money. By generating your own solar power, your company can dramatically lower your overall monthly electricity charges.

3. Falling Prices for Solar Panels

In the not too distant past, solar panels were quite pricey, and out of reach for many small businesses. The paybacks just were not there. Accountants would not approve these projects as they often made poor financial sense. As in any other business, however, technological innovation and the laws of supply and demand control prices. In recent years, the cost of solar panels has fallen drastically, allowing you to make the switch at a lower cost than ever before. This means that it will take less time for you to make back your initial investment and start to realize the true cost savings of generating your own power. Solar panels are virtually maintenance-free, and extending your system is as simple as adding new panels.

4. Battery Storage

At one time, the only battery storage option for solar power was lead acid batteries, and the system was primarily for those who planned to live completely off the grid. Today, however, innovative new hybrid systems use a combination of lithium-ion batteries and thermal storage to harness excess power. Banks of inverters and easy-to-use controls allow you to seamlessly switch between banked solar power and electricity from the grid. Although many of these projects are still in the research phase, entering the solar market now poises your business to take advantage of emerging technology as it becomes available.

5. Feed-in Tariffs

If your solar panels generate more electricity than your business requires, you can actually sell the excess power to your local electric company. Known as feed-in tariffs, the scheme is set by the state in conjunction with federal laws. Signing up for feed-in tariffs is not likely to make you rich, but the program can dramatically offset the price you pay for electricity that you receive from the grid.

6. Reliability

Electricity from fossil fuels such as coal and oil is subject to fluctuations in the global market. Wars, terrorism and natural disasters can dramatically lower the available supply or raise prices, even when they happen halfway across the world. At the local level, overuse by your neighbors can cause brownouts or even blackouts. The sun, on the other hand, continues to shine almost every day. Solar panels do not break down (they do lose efficiency of around 1%/year) and require little to no maintenance, so your source of energy is no longer tied to what is happening around you. If your business is looking to effectively reduce its bills and show your clients that you are conscious of your impact on the environment, then solar energy is worth investigating for your business.

With so many financial and environmental benefits, solar power is a smart choice for many businesses. Corospark provides a free site survey and proposal, along with numerous financing models including $0 up-front options. Call 1300 795511 to learn more and get started.

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