You’ve seen the commercials about solar energy, but how much do you know about it? The concept of solar power is as old as the sun itself, but it has only been in recent decades that we’ve been able to harness its energy for our own uses. We’re now at a point where it’s not just possible but economical to use solar energy in your home. See five ideas here for a greener home and reducing your carbon footprint.

1. Solar power saves money on energy costs

Solar power is a great way to save money on your energy costs. When you install solar panels, you can use the energy you produce instead of purchasing it from the electric company. This can save you thousands of dollars a year on your energy bills. Before you go solar, make sure to calculate your return on investment.

Although installing panels on your business’s roof will make it more convenient (no more driving around), the panels themselves aren’t going to save your business much money when it comes to its energy costs overall. You’ll want to perform your own energy efficiency upgrades before investing in a solar system. To calculate how much money these upgrades will save, you first need to determine how much your business’s current energy usage costs (in watts per hour) and then determine how much this energy cost would be reduced if you installed solar power. To determine your home’s current energy use, visit your utility provider’s website.

Before you go solar, you’ll want to examine your roof’s energy capacity. Look at your roof, and factor in the architectural details of the panels, including:
Remember that these figures are only rough estimates. Your home’s insulation, panel orientation, and even the sun’s heat will affect the efficiency of your roof system. You should reserve this information for your annual energy survey, which is usually free. Research the latest energy efficient options available for your roof. You can also perform your own energy efficiency upgrades before installing solar.

Several states in the U.S. offer rebates for businesses that install solar on their roofs, including California, but these programs are administered by different government agencies. Additionally, they vary in terms of eligibility requirements, so be sure to review the programs in your area. Regardless of the program you choose, you’ll need to apply for it. Before you start looking for solar rebates, the first step is to determine which energy efficiency upgrades your business needs as part of its energy plan.

Your business will want to explore carbon offsets, renewable energy certificates, and net metering before pulling the trigger on solar.

2. Solar power can save more than you think

Solar power is popular because it can be used to save people money. However, there are plenty of other reasons why it’s a good idea to install solar panels. Here are a few reasons why you should think about installing solar panels:

1) It’s a smart investment. Installing solar panels will give you a return on your investment. The money you save on operating energy bills can be used to invest in more capital for your business.

2) It’s good for public health. Many people don’t realize that pollution causes hundreds of thousands of premature deaths per year in the US. Solar power is a great way to combat this problem.

3) It helps fight climate change. As greenhouse gas emissions rise over the coming decades, solar power is becoming an increasingly smart investment.

Whether it’s a small family-owned business or a multi-national company, solar power is becoming easier each day. From homeowners looking to reduce their energy bill to large corporations looking for more sustainable energy options, solar power is becoming a great investment for everyone. Whether you decide to go all-in on solar or go for a single-family system, so long as you invest in a package of incentives, the results will make any business owner’s heart melt.

3. Going solar is a smart financial investment for your business

Going solar is a smart financial investment for your business. Solar energy is a great way to save money on utility bills, and it also increases property value.

Affordable electricity is a top priority for every small business during this time of economic uncertainty. In many parts of the country, utility rates are increasing, leaving many small businesses uncertain about their financial future. Some establishments are already unsure about the health of their workforce and future revenue, putting them at a competitive disadvantage.

By investing in solar panels on your business’s roof, you help maintain the financial health of your business and your workforce. Considering the long-term nature of the investment, getting solar on your roof won’t require you to replace your entire lighting system, let alone your energy bill. Even when looking at traditional energy companies, quotes for solar systems are often cheaper than traditional energy providers. The additional savings on your utility bill will make solar more affordable for everyone — especially your customers.

How much will installing solar affect my electric bill in the long term? Depends on how much your utility company increases your rates for the coming year. If the utility increases your electric rates by 5% in the coming year, installing any amount of solar will save you approximately 4¢ per day on your electric bill, even if the system uses 10kwh or more.

A utility bill isn’t the only expense that big box stores and big-box restaurants will hit you with. Rushing to replace florescent and kiddie pools can quickly add up to your monthly energy bill, not to mention the time and energy you’ll spend to pump out the waste. Solar power provides you with multiple environmental benefits including reducing power plant emissions, providing safe working conditions, and lowering power fluctuations.

Money saved on utility bills can go a long way for keeping your employees and customers happy.