Solar energy is a hot topic in modern business discourse. Solar panels are seen as an innovative alternative that should be embraced by some, and prohibitively expensive non-solution to others. Before a facility manager makes a decision on whether to install solar panels at their facility, they should receive comprehensive information pertinent to their operational goals.
MaintenX wants to help our clients not only maintain safe and efficient facilities but provide resources for enhancing facility operations at all levels. We support new ideas in energy and equipment operations and want our clients to have the information and resources they need to make smart energy choices.
Benefits of Solar Panels for Businesses
Solar energy can be incredibly beneficial for owner-occupied facilities with roofing structures that can support solar panel installation. Some of these benefits include:
- Commercial facilities with solar panels can produce their own electricity, reducing reliance and expenditure on traditional forms of energy
- Commercial facilities with solar panels are more resilient to fluctuations in the price of electricity from their municipalities or region.
- Solar Renewable Energy Credits (SRECs) earned through producing solar power can be sold when cash on hand is short
- Buildings with solar panels typically have a higher property value, depending on the region and local real estate market
- Commercial facilities that invest in solar power can receive tax credits and benefit from sustainable incentive programs
- Solar panels can produce nearly 30% ROI annually
- Investing in solar panels can earn a company media coverage and bolster a brand’s marketing efforts as a sustainable enterprise
Opposition to Solar Roofing Installations
Solar power provides numerous benefits to companies. Not only can they provide handsome cost-savings rewards, but they offer new financial and marketing opportunities that other companies do not have. However, solar panels do not solve all of a facility’s energy or environmental sustainability issues.
One of the biggest problems of implementing solar energy is its lack of reliability and utility in certain regions. Solar energy is much more powerful in Southwestern areas of the United States where sunlight is available year-round with little rainfall or natural obstruction. Uncontrollable factors such as the amount of daylight available throughout the day and the intensity of sunlight make solar panels less reliable than their fossil-fuel based counterparts. Solar panels may be a great investment if your facility is located in the southwest deserts of the U.S., but not as profitable if you leave in the Pacific Northwest where sunlight is less frequent and intense.
Solar energy poses environmental risks as well. While the process of producing solar energy from solar cells is emission-free, the raw materials required to produce solar panels can be quite toxic. Dangerous substances such as nitrogen trifluoride, cadmium, and other heavy metals are used to create solar panels. Some of them are known human carcinogens, while others require intense mining which creates environmental issues of its own. Solar panels are also not easy to recycle, meaning that after their 20-25 year lifespan, they may end up overseas or in American landfills.
Solar is also not a practical solution if you have an older roof or a roof that is not suited for solar panel installations in the first place. Fixing roofing issues after a solar panel installation takes place is much more complex. If your roofing is not in good condition, you will need to update it before installing panels. Roofing that is steeply pitched and not flat, or is exposed to frequent strong winds may not be suitable for solar installations regardless of its condition.
At MaintenX, we believe in finding the right solutions for businesses. Our technicians strive to provide honest information and quality service when it comes to roofing installation, repair, and solar panel care. Contact us to learn more about energy-efficient options for your facility, or our roofing care services.