Every thousand-mile journey begins with a single footstep, but nothing sours the beginning of a journey like a business’s Bigfoot-sized carbon footprint.
In addition to bolstering your brand and advocating environmental responsibility, these are the most significant factors that make going green a smart decision for any business.
Commercial Solar Saves Utah and Nevada Businesses Money
A dollar saved is a dollar earned, and the point of every business is to make more dollars. However, many business owners are missing savings at the operational level, namely by relying on paper-based processes. These processes are not just inefficient, but expensive as well, and they only raise demand for the lumber industry, which contributes to deforestation.
are the most intriguing factors for most business owners? Everyone wants to save money where they can. There are plenty of ways to save when it comes to going green, whether you want to start small by changing lighting an equipment or adding commercial-grade solar to your office.
The federal government has a solar incentive for anyone who’s interested in installing solar panels. These incentives allow individuals that would normally not be able to afford solar the ability to purchase the products they need, cover installation, and create a greener business via commercial solar.
This is given through a 30 percent tax credit. In this credit, 30 percent of your solar array is covered by the federal government. And while the credit may decrease for both residential and commercial systems by 2021, commercial solar installations will still receive a 10 percent tax credit after that deadline.
The Win-Win of Making a Solar Energy Business
Green businesses don’t just run more efficiently, the trendsetters of our generation prefer to give them more money. That’s just one of the boons of going solar in the state of Utah, where the population is resoundingly young compared to the rest of the country. The same holds true, though to a lesser degree, in the state of Nevada.
Three-fourths of Millennials are willing to pay extra for sustainable offerings, according to a recent Nielsen survey. That number increases for Generation Z. 72 percent of respondents aged 15-20 are willing to pay more for products and services advented by companies that are committed to positive social and environmental impact.
A 2013 study from Cone Communications showed that nearly half (45 percent) of consumers actively seek out environmental information regarding the products they buy. Further analysis also revealed consumers want products that aren’t just good for the environment, but were made using sustainable practices.
The Walking Stick Nevada and Utah Businesses Need to Walk the Environmental Talk
However, businesses can’t just go green because it’s going to reel in more business or save more money. The motives are as important to consumers as the outcomes and byproducts of your operational choices, which commercial solar can positively impact.
Trendsetters are the ones who do things not just because everyone is doing it, but because they want to do it. They see the benefits before the general public has caught on. The purchases our generation makes today are setting the trends for tomorrow.
We call this the inside out mantra. Executives who are passionate about what they do, not just the outcomes of their labor, tend to be happier and more successful in their entrepreneurial endeavors.
Your statement will ignite a domino reaction in neighbors and friends, who will partake in your experience and reasons for improving the environment. As more and more people take a stand against pollution, a positive difference in ourselves and our environment will occur.
Energy-efficient Solar Incentives for Businesses in the Inter-mountain West
You can start with small steps to going green in your office like switching from incandescent to LED bulbs. At first glance, getting LED bulbs costs more money. But when you look at the efficiency and durability of an LED, there really isn’t any cost comparison.
One LED bulb is equivalent to 21 incandescent bulbs. This means that over the course of 20 years you would spend $21 for one incandescent light fixture or $4 for an LED. Compound this with the cost of running major factories on such lighting stipulations, and the savings can be monumental.
Even though LED bulbs initially cost more, they pay for themselves in just several months. Getting an energy efficient light dramatically decreases how much you are spending every month for electricity.
If you want to make your move more drastically, states like Nevada have programs that can help. NV Energy’s commercial energy services offers technical assistance and cash incentives for energy efficient equipment and lighting products that save energy and lower utility bills. By running a simple test, NV Energy can show you how to save energy and money in your offices.
Looking at the Internal Production Processes
Take a look at your production process. How can you make them more environmentally friendly? If your company sources goods and services from other vendors, green procurement is a trend worth following. Choosing to work with companies that are less environmentally damaging than comparable alternatives is another way to walk the walk and show your customers you care. Commercial solar projects also bring an immediacy to the forefront of solar, putting it in its proper environmental light.
Stop Relying on Paper-based Processes
How much paper does your office use? According to The Paperless Project, the average office worker uses 10,000 sheets of copy paper every year. A more staggering statistic – 45% of the paper printed in offices ends up being trashed by the end of the day.
Going paperless is another really simple way to reduce your carbon footprint and create a more efficient office in the process. Paper is bulky, it takes up lots of space in various file cabinets in offices, and most offices don’t have an efficient filing system. How often do you go to look for a file, only to spend 20-30 minutes (maybe even more) searching for the one you need?
Transferring all your paper files onto digital alternatives may take time and money at first, but according to Nitro Software, 59% of businesses achieved full ROI in less than 12 months.
Solar Power Your Business with Commercial Installs, Statewide/Federal Incentives and More
The biggest way to go green with your business is to install solar – and there are numerous benefits to boot. Going solar is not as expensive as one might think. The rise in competition within the solar sector has not only driven down solar panel prices, but has also improved the technology.
As referenced in the Go Solar Group blog, Utah Solar Installs: too many options now what?, the 2017 Fraunhofer ISE Photovoltaics Report shows that panel efficiency is increasing. As time goes on, competition within this sector will continue to drive motivated individuals to create better engineered products to enhance solar panels’ energy potential.
There are also plenty of rebates available depending on the kind of business you operate. For example, if you are an agricultural producer or a small business in a rural area, you may qualify for The Rural Energy For America Program (REAP). REAP, at its inmost function, is a grant program. They have Renewable Energy System Grants which will cover between $2,500 and $500,00 of your costs depending on the size of your project.
As I mentioned earlier, the federal government has a solar incentive for anyone who would like to install solar panels allowing more people the ability to purchase these products. Although panel engineering and innovation are on the rise, therein reducing costs and reducing the amount of financial leveraging needed for the typical consumer to go solar in the state of Utah, loan-less solar is still a bit off in the future for the average consumer, but not necessarily for the average business.
This is given through a 30 percent tax credit. In this credit, 30 percent of your solar array is covered by the federal government.
After your system has been installed, you file for this tax credit, and it is then credited toward taxes that you would normally have owed. This credit can be rolled over for up to five years.
This credit may decrease for both residential and commercial systems to 26 percent in 2020, which is still a hefty incentive, and doesn’t negate the investment value proposition of solar energy. In 2021, residential and commercial solar system credits will decline to 22 percent, which is still a significant credit.
After 2021, residential solar customers will no longer receive a federal tax credit. Commercial solar installations will get a 10 percent tax credit moving forward in 2021 and after.
Many states offer their own tax credits on top of the federal one you will receive. Our company is based in Utah and Reno, Nevada, where the State tax credit works similarly to the federal credit. It also can be rolled over and is applied to taxes that would have been owed to the state.
The National Solar Jobs Census stated that 137,133 new jobs opened up in the United States Installation sector in 2016.
According to The Solar Foundation, the solar industry has surpassed fossil fuel jobs in the United States, and more than twice as many Americans are employed by the solar industry than the entire coal industry. As of 2016, there was an estimated 10 percent increase in solar jobs in the United States, and this trend shows no sign of slowing. But it’ also important to know that going solar impacts many industries of the world’s workforce. Commercial solar adoption will also add to this positive, job-creating trend.
For example, because Copper is used in the solar industry, there is a causal link between solar and copper’s increase in demand. This means that those who choose to work in the copper industry have a sure future ahead of them as well.
One of the major facts about solar energy is that project development in the solar industry includes system designers, project managers, master electricians, billing clerks and more. Project development jobs within the solar sector have increased by 53 percent. A total of 34,400 jobs nationwide opened up in 2016 to accommodate solar industry demand.
By going solar, you’re not just doing good for the planet, you’re doing good for society as well. Perhaps one of the most uplifting facts about solar energy in the year of 2018 is the fact that there are some people who have to rely on the light of the sun to do daily activities, and solar can elongate that presence. Solar programs give many of them the opportunity to generate their own electricity.
Through programs like Give Solar, people are provided with electricity and light. Go Solar Group uses a portion of their sales in the United States to fund microloans in Uganda.
These loans provide opportunities for female entrepreneurs, elementary schools, orphanages, and low-income families. Once the micro loan is paid off, it is then used again to fund another micro loan.
Quality solar products are also being made available to those who were using kerosene lamps as their sole source of light. Kerosene is not only toxic, but also unviable for a family living on less than a dollar per day. Philanthropic solar initiatives like Give Solar have provided 3 million hours of extra study time for children in Uganda.
I encourage you to review your brand, its purpose, and your bottom-line in considering the prospect of solar power. Review the steps you can start making to reduce your carbon footprint, go green and help the environment.
I sincerely hope that reviewing the benefits of launching a green business has motivated you to begin the solar process on behalf of consumers, the environment, and and your future.