Many Fortune 500 businesses are moving energy efficiency issues to the top of their priority lists by implementing clean energy goals to help save on operating costs and reduce carbon footprints. Just take a look at the recent Solar Means Business report, which lists some of the most iconic brands (Walmart, Kohl’s and Johnson & Johnson) that have installed solar.
Many smaller and family-owned businesses are doing the same. As any entrepreneur with a keen sense for investment will realize, the bottom-line adds up for solar. After payroll expenses, electricity costs are usually the second biggest business expenditure, and rates have been increasing over the years and tended to spike at times. On the other hand, the costs for solar panels have decreased sharply, plummeting more than 75% over the last few years.
Take a look, for example, at three Michigan businesses that took advice from the energy experts at CRESIT Energy, a solar installation company based in the Detroit metro area. Robert Kulick, founder and owner of CRESIT Energy, is deeply involved in educational programs and seminars about energy efficiency and solar technology. He knows what business owners consider when thinking about installing a solar array.
“Business owners should be educated on two things which are critical to their bottom line,” Kulick says. “One is the federal tax credit. It reduces the total cost of any solar project. This equates to real money left in your pocket at the end of the year. The other is how energy costs go up-up-up! So not only do business owners need to plan for the consistently increasing costs of energy, they also need to plan for frequent increases of usage, delivery, recovery, surcharges and tax on each kWh they use. Solar may eliminate these energy costs entirely.”
Would his customers install a solar photovoltaic system again if they had to make the choice? “Every time,” Robert Kulick says. “PV systems install fast, are noiseless, and require almost no upkeep. The technology is so reliable and efficient that investing in a clean energy system is the smartest and financially sound move any business owner can make.”
Karn Sitkins Payette Insurance
In addition to the federal 30% tax credit and the depreciation. The city of Wyandotte, Mich. also offers a grant for commercial installations matchiong $1,000 per kW installed. For Cheryl Savage and Eric Karn, both co-owners of Karn Sitkins Payette Insurance Agency, this financial encouragement helped them decide to go solar. They says they believe in renewable energy and doing what is right for the environment while cutting down on future expenses. They had CRESIT install a 9-kW system with 36 MAGE POWERTEC PLUS solar modules on the roof of their office building. So far they say the experience with the system is wonderful.
The modules CRESIT used are also virtually maintenance free and rigorously tested to withstand the harsh weather conditions in the Great Lakes region. MAGE SOLAR guarantees an industry-leading 30 year life span on all its modules so business and home owners can enjoy significantly lower power bills while generating clean energy for their own use or to feed into the grid when they are not using any electricity.
John Christie also decided to put solar on his business, Hood’s Hardware in Wyandotte, Mich.“We get many positive comments on the solar array on the roof,” Christie says. “Customers are curious about how the panels work and are just blown away when I tell them how much I am saving on operational costs. Also, I think the solar system is perceived as a positive contribution to the community and as a sign that we are here to stay. It really adds value to the building and our business as a whole.”
Together with upgrades in lighting, heating and cooling as well as motion sensors, Christie is able to reduce his energy bill by 60% and will have his system paid off in less than 4 years.
Patrick Hand is the owner of Discount Drinks, another well established family-owned and operated business in Wyandotte, Mich. But keeping drinks cool drives up the business’s utility bill. Hand knew he wanted to find a long-term solution to manage his electricity cost. Now, together with general lighting and energy efficiency upgrades, his 20.1-kW solar array, which also uses MAGE solar panels, saves Hand more than 30% each month.
“Solar is one of the smartest business investments,” says Joe Thomas, the CEO and President of MAGE SOLAR. “Not only can business owners lock in their energy rate for the next thirty years, but they can also show their customers that they are investing in the future and are independent of price volatilities on the energy market.”