Should Restaurateurs In New York Choose Solar Power For Cooking?
The spotlight is definitely on solar! With 373,000 jobs created in 2016, solar industry has overtaken coal in terms of employment, according to the Department of Energy report.
New York currently heads the solar power installations in the US. Totally 743.65 megawatts of solar was installed in New York in 2016 which shows an 800% increase from 2011. New York’s commitment to the environment includes the goal of getting half the city’s electricity needs met through renewable sources by 2030.
Restaurants That Are Going Green
It’s the age of going green for restaurants as well if they are to meet the renewable energy objectives for New York. As per a survey carried out by the National Restaurant Association, only 5 % of respondents said they used solar panels in their businesses.
From a frozen yogurt shop in Brooklyn to the chain of fast food restaurants, investing in solar panels is a trend that has picked pace since a decade. Solar energy also makes it possible to have a “sun based restaurant.” An
experiment carried out by Finnish chef resulted in pop up restaurants that run entirely on solar energy. Solar cooker that uses a parabola to concentrate sun’s rays on a particular spot on the cooker enables food to be cooked.
Countries like Chile where the sun shines brightly all-round the year, using solar cookers for cooking seems like a natural choice. A case in point is “The Villaseca Solar Restaurant’ where solar powered cookers are used to make a host of dishes.
Why Invest In Solar Panels For Cooking?
We are running out of other energy sources: The clock is ticking as far as finite and non-renewable energy sources are concerned. According to an estimate, the world will run out of natural gas and oil in 54 years while coal reserves may last for another hundred years at the most. Close to seven billion is spent on energy expenses in food service establishments that include heating water for cooking. One estimate puts the energy used up for heating water in food service establishments at 67 trillion Btu for water heating.
Tax sops: Thanks to a Congress vote, businesses that invest in solar and renewable energy before the end of 2019 will get a 30% federal tax credit. A case in point is the Uncommon Grounds restaurants in Chicago where solar panels are used to heat water for all operations including cooking. The tax rebate the owners received meant they paid 40% less for the solar system installation. The return on investment in solar panels is achieved within four to five years.
Low running and maintenance cost: With just one working part which includes the water pump, there is minimal if any running or repair costs for the solar panels. In Southern California as well the concept of green restaurants is gaining traction. Coasterra is a Mexican restaurant that features solar panels that account for 33% of total energy that is adequate to operate the kitchen as well.
Although the initial cost of installation looks considerable, the cost savings in the long run on electricity is significant. Restaurant owners of Tender Green say they get 30% less on energy bills for the hot water while they spent $2000 more on initial installation which translates into big savings in the long run!
Another estimate puts the average expenses of energy bills at $1,950 which is reduced to $500 after installing solar in the commercial set up. The reduction is to the tune of, 75% which adds up to a considerable amount in a year.
It’s not called clean energy for nothing: Fossil fuels emit a host of disruptive chemicals including nitrogen oxides, carbon monoxide, sulfur dioxide, heavy metals besides carbon di oxide the major greenhouse gas. Solar on the other hand is clean with no toxic emissions whatsoever.
Attractive to customers: Today’s health and environment conscious customers identify with businesses that share their concerns towards reducing carbon footprints.. Fast food chain Chipotle invested in solar panels for its 75 restaurants that produced close to 500 Kilowatts of power. Cafe Organic proudly proclaimed their use of solar panels on their menu and reaped wide acceptance and appreciation from customers. Using a renewable energy source such as solar panels for heating or solar cookers give restaurants talking points to impress customers with. You can benefit from the public relations and marketing brownie points that help you attract “green” customers.
Depreciation: Businesses that have solar energy installed can deduct up to 85 % of its value from the taxes, which adds up to the total savings in a big way.
Generate more local jobs: When you need to install a solar system in New York, you would naturally look for the best solar energy project management groups to carry out the entire project. You would be promoting local businesses in New York besides learning more about the energy saving options.
Compete for the top spot globally: Every drop – or rather, every ray – counts. When you add solar energy to your restaurant, you would contribute to pushing the US. to the top spot in terms of total solar generating capacity. As of 2016, China, Germany and Japan head the table in terms of solar energy outputs at 43.5 GW, 39 GW and 34 GW respectively. The US. is currently at the fourth spot with 25 GW of output.
Fixed energy bills: If you rent or lease a solar panel system you would pay a fixed monthly cost as agreed, but if you invest in purchasing them, the energy cost would be nil. Compared to the fluctuating costs of energy bills from providers, you would be able to organize your budgets and keep better track of the bottom-line of your business with solar.Boost property value: In the coming days, solar panels could make all the difference to a property getting sold. If you were to sell the business at some point as part of your expansion plans, you can be assured of higher valuation. In fact, for homes with solar panels as well, buyers are prepared to shell out $15000 more for the value add it brings.