Storage facilities need to be more sustainable. One way is to implement solar panels. What are the benefits, and what are the potential pitfalls of moving to solar?
With recent natural disasters like the floodings in China and Germany or wildfires ravaging California, it’s clear that climate change is having an effect on our world. As a result, businesses are doing what they can to minimize their environmental impact. A simple solution for self-storage companies is to look into renewable energy to power their facilities. One of the most popular options is to install solar panels.
Here we’ve compiled a list of pros, cons, and other considerations before committing to solar energy.
The most obvious reason to do this is to benefit the environment. Solar power is renewable, meaning for as long as the sun is shining down on us, you’ll be able to convert that energy to electricity to use at your facility, with minimal waste and a lesser carbon footprint.
Due to the positive effects solar power will have on the environment, taking steps to make your facility more sustainable helps your marketing. Consumers are getting increasingly aware of their own carbon footprint and are looking to reduce it at any turn. As a result, they will look for businesses and services that are just as conscious as they are. Making your solar panels and other sustainable practices a cornerstone of your brand marketing will influence eco-conscious consumers to gravitate towards your business. This works especially if your local market has a lack of businesses that use eco-marketing to their advantage. Targeted online marketing campaigns and more traditional methods like leafleting will all work equally well.
Financial incentives and subsidies
The UK government used to run the Feed-In Tariff program which stopped accepting new applicants in 2019, but is now being replaced by the Smart Export Guarantee (SEG). Aimed at small energy generators, the scheme will allow businesses to sell off any energy and electricity they generate using renewable energy sources. The scheme also includes other sources such as wind and hydropower generators. This offers a great financial incentive for businesses to use this scheme to generate a separate revenue scheme if they can sell enough energy to suppliers. The major consideration when using the scheme is to choose the right tariff from the right company. Energy suppliers will also offer different competitive rates with different payment structures. Read carefully and choose the one that’s most beneficial for your business.
Higher insurance rates for solar appliances
Installing solar panels gives you a chance to generate revenue from the SEG, as well as saving money on electricity. However, there’s also a chance that there will be added insurance costs not currently covered under the plan your facility has. Make sure to check carefully and ask your insurance provider if there are any hidden or added costs. If not, you could be looking at a much larger figure and an overall loss due to installing solar panels.
Large upfront cost
While solar panels are the cheapest they’ve ever been, they still will need a larger initial investment than sticking with traditional electricity systems at your facility. Again, they can yield positive impacts for both the environment and your bottom line, but do come at a high initial price. That said, scouring the market and comparing the various companies that install them should let you find some good deals, and lower this first upfront investment.
This final consideration is more of a group of questions about whether your facility and business is actually suited for implementing solar panels. You should think about whether your building is suitable. Is your roof old? Can panels be installed easily or should you replace the roof first before installing them? As solar panels are a larger initial investment, you should consider how much longer your business will be at the current site. If you aren’t planning on staying long, you might not be able to reap the full rewards of implementing solar panels.
Overall, solar panels are an effective way to reduce your carbon footprint, and in turn use that to help your business in other ways. However, it isn’t truly a no-brainer, as there are various considerations you and your business should work through before committing to this established, popular renewable energy source.
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Related Article: 6 Steps to Making Your Storage Business More Sustainable