Business Owners & Entrepreneurs Can Benefit from the Many Advantages of Renewable Energy
The U.S. Energy Information Administration defines renewable energy as “energy from sources that are naturally replenishing but flow-limited; renewable resources are virtually inexhaustible in duration but limited in the amount of energy that is available per unit of time.” The major types of renewable energy include biomass (organic material), hydropower (water), geothermal (heat from the earth), wind power and solar power. Each of these energy sources offers a multitude of benefits including cutting down on greenhouse gas emissions, lowering your carbon footprint and reducing harmful air pollutants.
One of the most impactful advantages of renewable energy is the beneficial impact it has on the economy. According to the Environmental Defense Fund, renewable energy has created approximately 4 million jobs due to lowered technology costs and supportive policies. In addition to driving job growth, renewable energy has proven to benefit business owners and entrepreneurs across the nation. Here’s how…
5 Major Benefits of Renewable Energy to Business Owners
- Cut the Cost of Energy Bills
Energy bills including electric, heating and cooling can be the largest operating expenses a business incurs each month. Utilizing renewable energy significantly saves money on the cost of energy bills. For instance, ION Solar reports commercial property owners can save up to 75% on electric bills by simply installing solar panels to generate electricity.
- Protect Yourself from Price Changes
The cost of energy is always fluctuating depending on a variety of nearly uncontrollable factors, such as the amount of available fuel and demand for electricity. By implementing renewable energy, business owners are no longer tied to such constant price changes.
- Achieve a Great Return on Investment
One of the top benefits of renewable energy is the incredible return on investment. Although the upfront cost may seem high, business owners and entrepreneurs can take advantage of long-term savings.
There are several government initiatives available to further reduce costs. The Energy Star Program has helped commercial buildings across the country save a combined $14 billion in energy costs. There are also numerous tax rebates and grants available at the Database of State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency (DSIRE).
- Boost Public Relations
Not only does renewable energy technology provide financial benefits, but it also has the ability to boost public relations. Utilizing clean energy shows customers you value their well-being and their local community—not just their money.
- Improve Your Community
When a business owner chooses renewable energy, they’re also investing in the overall health and prosperity of the community. According to the Energy Star Program, all businesses using renewable energy have avoided a combined 170 million metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions. That’s a huge win against global warming.
Plus, using renewable energy sources can also be more aesthetically pleasing within the community. For example, locals and tourists would likely rather see turbines (windmills that generate wind energy) instead of smoke billowing from a factory.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Renewable Energy
Like most aspects of life, there are advantages and disadvantages of renewable energy. However, the advantages of renewable energy significantly outweigh the disadvantages.
The shortlist of disadvantages includes:
- High Upfront Costs
- Limited Storage Capabilities
- Geographic Limitations
- It’s Not Always 100% Carbon-Free
How to Finance the Upfront Costs of Renewable Energy
If you’re interested in taking advantage of the benefits of renewable energy, you may be interested in financing the upfront costs. First, check out the aforementioned state database and find out if your business is eligible for the Energy Star Program or other federal government initiatives.
Next, research how to secure a renewable energy loan. There are typically five options to choose from: pre-development loan, project development loan, equipment loan, construction loan and a mini-perm loan.
Extensia Financial is one of the few renewable energy financing sources in the United States. We have vast experience in solar energy and biogas energy, enabling our financial institution to create tailored solutions to support borrowers in the development and growth of their business.
About Extensia Financial
Established in 1998 and headquartered in Simi Valley, CA, Extensia Financial offers competitive and collaborative commercial loans. We partner with credit unions and connect them to investors across the United States. Additionally, we uniquely support and guide our partners through the entire full lifecycle of renewable energy loans. Extensia Financial is a proud member of the AVANA Family of Companies.