When most people think of solar energy on a personal scale, they imagine installing panels on their home. However, the same solutions that can be placed on a house can often be installed on business locations as well. Whether you run a small retail space, restaurant, or medical lab like True Health Diagnostics, solar energy can help lower the costs associated with operating your business.
To help you prepare your business for solar energy, here are a few tips to get you started.
Understand Your Energy Use
Before beginning a solar panel installation, you need to understand how much energy your business requires during regular operations. Luckily, this information is actually pretty accessible. Most electricity bills include details regarding your monthly usage. Some even present the previous 12-months data as well as a monthly average on every bill.
The reason this information is important is it will help determine how many solar panels you will need to meet your energy requirements. This information is included in a formula that takes into account the amount of solar isolation the area receives as well as the efficiency of the solar panels themselves.
In most cases, a solar panel installation is more than an individual should handle unless they are working in construction or as an electrician. And, even then, it still might not be a good idea to manage the project alone.
Professional installers will be able to help determine exactly where your panels should be placed to ensure the most favorable exposure. Additionally, they will be able to manage any permit requirements or changes to your panel or meter. In some cases, your electric company will need to update your meter, especially if there is a chance your system will produce more power than it needs, allowing your excess energy to be fed back into the grid for a profit.
Have a Backup
Since most businesses rely on electricity for at least some of their operations, it isn’t always wise to completely disconnect from your current power source. Even if you have solar panels, you can still use your local utility provider to supplement your electrical needs when the panels can’t produce enough on their own. That way, you don’t have to worry about the lights going out because you underestimated your power needs.
Additionally, solar panels are just like any other piece of equipment or system in the building; it will degrade with time and will need maintenance. Depending on how things age, certain portions of the system may fail or require repair. Should an issue present spontaneously, it is better to have a backup source of electricity available to cover your needs until repairs can be made.
Even if you have solar power, you can still work to save electricity. By being mindful about your use of power, you can lower your usage levels. In cases where your excess power goes back to the grid, this can actually help you make money over the long-term. If not, then you can work to improve your habits so that one day all of your needs can be met through your panels.
Yes, saving electricity can require some adjustments. But, once the changes become a habit, you may be surprised how easy it is to keep sticking with them. Especially, if checks from the electric company start coming to you instead of the other way around.