Businesses Benefiting from Community Solar | Community Solar Hub

Businesses Benefiting from Community Solar

Posted on Thursday March 16, 2017

Community Solar Hub - Businesses Benefiting from Community Solar

All businesses are looking for ways to cut costs, and many businesses are looking for ways to cut energy use. But the options available to address both of these at the same time are limited, especially for small or emerging businesses.

With the cost of solar energy plummeting, and over one million solar systems installed, solar is providing to be the most viable solution to help businesses appeal to consumers while cutting costs. Many businesses rent their properties, relocate frequently, have shaded roofs, or don't have the capital to invest up front in a solar system, therefore making installing a solar system impossible. Community solar removes those barriers and allows businesses to enjoy the benefits of solar, without the hassle of a solar system on their properties. 

With community solar, any electric customer is able to participate in a local array that is connected directly to a utility's grid. Participants are then credited on their electricity bills, saving them money on their electricity expenses, without having to invest in installing or maintaining a system on their property. Below are some examples of how nearly 300 businesses have benefitted from community solar arrays. 

Businesses save money
When businesses participate in community solar arrays, they receive credits on their electric bills for contributing solar energy to the utility's grid. With the cost of solar energy now comparable to traditional fossil fuels, community solar customers can participate in a solar energy program at a lower rate, saving them money on their electricity expenses, putting money back into the businesses and improving their bottom lines. Additionally, since community solar allows businesses to lock-in savings for solar energy, they can hedge against unpredictable, rising fossil fuel rates and improve their ability to manage their cash flow.  
Community solar is a hassle-free solution
Community solar is the only way to access the benefits of locally generated solar energy for businesses that rent their spaces. Most businesses rent or lease their facilities, which means all of those businesses are unable to install solar systems. With community solar, participants don't install anything on their roofs or properties because they participate in a local offsite solar array with other members of the community. Additionally, businesses who participate in community solar don't have to worry about operating and maintaining their own system. The system owner, utility or third-party developer, fully maintains the arrays and ensure maximum production. 
Environmental goals and regulations are met 
More and more cities across the country are requiring or incentivizing businesses to engage in energy efficiency efforts, and use renewable energy. Additionally, businesses themselves are setting their own goals and standards for sustainable business practices in an effort to stand out from the competition and better align with their customers. Community solar can be a flexible, cost-effective way to take advantage of federal, state, and local financial incentives, satisfy environmental regulations, and avoid the risk of non-compliance. 
Community solar promotes customer loyalty and positive brand attributes
According to Gallup, 64% of Americans are concerned about climate change, which means 64% of consumers are looking for businesses that engage in sustainable practices. Businesses that tout their sustainability efforts in their marketing create a valuable differentiator between them and their competitors and enhance their brand images. This is reflected in attracting more new customers who share similar values, and enhancing customer loyalty and retention amongst those who appreciate the commitment to sustainability. 
Participation is flexible
With community solar, businesses can customize their systems based on their specific needs. Businesses can choose to have a portion of their electric use offset, or they can maximize savings with a complete energy offset. Additionally, since the panels are not on the customer's property, credits can be transferred to new meters if a business moves, or system sizes can be adjusted to fit changing energy needs. 
Community solar is a smart choice for business
According to research by Deutsche Bank, companies with high ratings for environmental, social, and governance (ESG) factors have a lower cost of debt and equity and outperform the market in the medium and long term. Community solar is a savvy way to address all these factors and is proof to thousands of businesses and residents around the country that it saves money and meets goals. An easy, money-saving product is simply good for business. 

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