After EY’s recent study on the skyrocketing cost of electricity, the woes of Australian consumers have had most of the attention. However, Australian businesses are also suffering – electricity is one of the biggest costs for a business. Entrepreneurs are increasingly looking for relief, and solar can be a great solution. If you are considering it for your business, here are the top 10 commandments to follow in order to avoid the pitfalls.
1. Know your motivation
What exactly you are going to achieve by going solar? Is it energy savings? Carbon offsets? Green marketing? All of these are good goals, but understanding them will guide whether you want to pay more for a system that produces a greater portion of your business’ power, or settle for a minimal system. Knowing your motivation is key, because it will protect you from investing in the wrong system and guide you through the sometimes-treacherous waters that are the solar industry.
2. Understand your energy needs
If you’re like most people and looking at return on investment or to cut energy, then it’s imperative you understand your energy needs. For example, if you use most of your power during the day, solar will be beneficial. But if your predominant power use is evenings or night-time, solar is not as attractive. Also, consider that while batteries are promising, they are still quite costly and shouldn’t be considered yet as part of the business equation. You will want to make sure that the solar power your potential installation will deliver gets used when it is generated.
3. Understand carbon offsets
If you are concerned about your business’ impact on the environment you will need to know about your carbon offsets to understand your current pollution. People like Pangolin Associates are an independent carbon assessment firm that will audit your business. Looking at your energy bill is a great indicator: it will tell you how much carbon you are producing for the energy you’re using. Use this as a rough guide to learn how much solar is going to accomplish carbon-wise.
4. Think social responsibility
Here’s some good news: customers love businesses that have an ethical backbone. Using a renewable energy such as solar is a great way to capitalise on this. Consider public displays and additions to your website showing your system operating and how much carbon it is saving. If you are using a car park with your business, consider making it solar by building a roof with solar panels.
5. Understand your energy bill
Once you’ve figured out your motivation, it’s time to understand your energy bill. Understand what you are using and paying for electricity before embarking on the alternative energy journey. Too many energy brokers and solar companies rely on innocent or ignorant customers making decisions based on little knowledge.
Click here to read the entire article at BRW Australia’s website.