Back in 2000, the International Energy Agency looked to the future and estimated that by 2020, the world might be generating 10 gigawatts of solar energy. In 2015, that number was already at 400 GW. And the number of solar panels being shipped, approved and installed promises to double that number in the next several years.How could this affect your business?

Large corporations across the country are systematically installing solar panels for the financial and environmental benefits. Target is the number one corporate solar user in the US, with 150 MW, while IKEA stays on brand with its Scandinavian roots, operating 91% of their stores by solar power. Even if you’re not a major sun-loving corporation, there are compelling reasons to consider a solar energy source.

Financial Savings
Although the upfront costs of solar panels and their installation may be daunting, the long-term financial benefits will offset them relatively quickly. It is estimated that monthly electric bills are reduced by 75% when switching to solar, and that once businesses pay off their solar panel system in 3-7 years, they’re effectively enjoying free energy usage for the life of the system—decades.

Tax Credits
Although it is best to check for the most up-to-date tax credits that would apply to you on both the federal and state level, there has been a history of tax incentives for companies and residents who turn to solar—historically a 30% tax credit based on the cost of your system.

Performance-Based Incentives (PBIs)
PBIs are a way for energy-producing entities, like your business’s newly-installed solar panel system, to receive payments from their local grid based on the number of kilowatt-hours generated by their system. If your system is installed properly and you have the appropriate meters in place to track it, you could end up producing more energy than you use, and be compensated for your contribution. There are various types of PBIs, be sure to check which are available in your area.

Environmental Impact
As a clean, renewable energy source, solar power is an increasingly popular alternative to traditional energy sources. Solar energy reduces our collective dependence on fossil fuels and thereby reduces the carbon footprint of those who use it.

Customer and Community Appeal
9 out of 10 Americans polled at the end of last year were strongly in favor of expanding solar power, which is a factor for many companies wanting to appeal to their modern customer base. Consider turning to the sun for your energy needs, and you may be surprised by the financial, environmental, and public benefits.