Solar panels for small business: Brightening the bottom line
- 20 Jan 2023
- 7 min
Small businesses are always looking for ways to cut costs and increase profits. One often overlooked solution is solar energy. It can reduce your dependence on traditional energy sources, and also save money on electricity bills. In this article, we'll take a closer look at the benefits of solar panels: from government incentives to long-term savings, they can help your business thrive.
Small business, big benefits
Going solar not only helps to reduce energy costs, but also offers various incentives and benefits that can make the transition to solar power more affordable. Here are some of the most notable incentives and benefits that small business owners in the US can enjoy:
1. Federal Tax Credit. The Federal Investment Tax Credit (ITC) allows small businesses to claim a credit of 30% of the cost of the solar panel system on their taxes. This credit can significantly lower the overall cost of going solar.
2. State incentives. Many states offer additional incentives to small businesses that go solar, such as rebates, grants, and property tax exemptions. For example, in California, small businesses enjoy a property tax exclusion of 100% of the value added to the property by a solar system.
3. Energy savings. Once the solar panel system is installed, small businesses can start enjoying significant savings on their energy costs. On average, you can save $1,000 to $20,000 per year on energy costs.
4. Sustainability. Going solar is not only a smart financial decision, but it also helps to be more sustainable and reduce carbon footprint. By generating their own clean energy, small businesses can make a positive impact on the environment.
5. Brand image. By going solar, small businesses can also improve their brand image and attract more customers who are conscious about the environment. In today's world, many customers prefer to do business with companies that are environmentally responsible.
Solar panels for small business: Making the right choice
Choosing the right solar panels for your business can seem like a daunting task, but with the right information, it can be a straightforward process. There are several key factors to consider when selecting solar panels for small business:
1. Energy needs. This will depend on the size of your enterprise, the number of employees, and the amount of equipment used. For example, a small retail store of 1000 sq ft might require around 6 to 8 kW of solar panel power to offset its energy consumption. On the other hand, a manufacturing facility might require 20 kW or more. Once you have a rough estimate of your energy needs, you can select a solar panel system capable of meeting those needs.
2. Efficiency. It is measured in percentage and tells you how much sunlight the panel can convert into electricity. Typically, solar panel efficiencies range from 15% to 22%. The higher the efficiency, the more power the module can produce. When choosing solar panels for your small business, look for high-efficiency panels that will generate more electricity using less space.
3. Design and aesthetics. While the primary concern is performance, you'll want to make sure the panels are visually appealing and integrate well with the overall aesthetic of your business. For example, some PV modules are designed to blend in with the roof tiles, while others are designed to be more visible.
4. Durability and warranty. Look for panels with a good warranty and ensure that the panels are made of durable materials that can withstand extreme weather conditions and last for a long time. These materials are anodized aluminum for the frame and tempered glass for the front side. Many solar panels come with a 25-year warranty and have been tested to withstand winds of up to 130 mph and snow loads of up to 5400 Pa. This information is normally included in a panel’s datasheet.
Popular brands of solar panels for small business
When it comes to solar panels for small business, there are several popular brands that stand out for their quality, performance, and reliability. Here are a few top brands that small business owners may want to consider:
LG is a well-established brand known for its high-quality solar panels. Their panels are designed to be durable and withstand extreme weather conditions, making them a great option for small businesses in areas with harsh climates. LG also offers a 25-year warranty on their panels.
Canadian Solar is a leading brand in the solar industry and their panels are known for their reliability and performance. They offer a wide range of solar panels with different designs and power outputs, making them a great option for small businesses with varying energy needs. Canadian Solar also offers a 25-year warranty on their panels.
Trina Solar is a Chinese brand known for its high-quality solar panels. They have a wide range of panels that are designed to be durable and efficient. They are also known to have good customer service which is a plus for small business owners.
Three best solar panels for small business
Solar Installation Expert
You don't need to offset 100% of your consumption with solar. Remember that even if your system is small, it still can be eligible for Solar Tax Credit and other benefits. Check with your installer, if you’re unsure.
Trina Solar TSM 365 W: Premium quality, affordable price
This 365 W Trina solar panel is surprisingly affordable given its features. With a power density of 18.4 watts per square foot, it will help your company make the most of the available space. The unique cell architecture of this model is what really sets it apart, making the panel far less vulnerable to shading. If your property has any places that are shaded throughout the day, this technology may be ideal for you. The price per watt offered by Trina's model, taking into account its 25-year product guarantee and equally lengthy performance warranty, is unrivaled. The design is also aesthetically pleasing, with a glossy black exterior that would look great on any roof.
Canadian Solar HiKu Black 390 W: Made in North America
This Canadian Solar 390 W panel is just a few inches longer than the most compact modules, but it is much cheaper. It's a sleek all-black PV module that's built to last in any climate. Canadian Solar, based in Ontario, is a respected manufacturer whose solar panels have been optimized for use in the North American weather.
LG NeON R 370W: No compromises
This LG NeON 370 W solar panel is a high-performer with a module efficiency of 20.4%. This makes it one of the most efficient panels of this size on the market, meaning it can generate more electricity using less space. Hence, it’s a great option for small businesses with limited roof area. This LG model is durable enough to withstand extreme weather conditions, making it a great option for small businesses in areas with harsh climates. It also offers a 25-year warranty, giving peace of mind to a small business owner. To top it off, the panel boasts a sleek and modern design that can blend well with any style.
Learn about the latest arrivals and discounts first!