The Ultimate Cheat Sheet on Renewable Energy for Small Businesses
Are you thinking about switching to renewable energy sources of electricity for your business? Then you have come to the right place.Electricity retailer bills are one of the most demanding expenses that a business can have on its cash flow. Variations in consumption but also in energy prices do not allow you to accurately estimate how much you will spend on electricity in each season.
Oil electricity prices also change depending on the market and political factors on the Middle East, Russia and inside the US as well. These factors affect electricity prices for fossil fuel sources that can lead to unforeseen spikes in the market.
The alternative that has been promoted over the last 20 years to deal with these factors is the use of renewable energy sources for electricity generation. These sources have several unique advantages that fossil fuel sources do not have and that we will examine in this article.
Types of renewable energy sources
Renewable energy for small businesses is now possible in several ways. The first and most direct one is to install a green energy generation source on your business.
The most suitable for this purpose is solar energy. By purchasing solar panels that can be easily installed on the roof of the building, in the backyard or even in the parking lot as a solar carport, you can have access to a reliable, clean and independent source of electricity generation.
The profitability and feasibility of installing a PV plant for your business vary depending on your location and on the electricity rate that your fossil fuel retailer offers to you. However, it has been established in the US that despite some areas may become more attractive than others, when evaluating the long-term scenario, solar energy is always feasible.
The second common option is wind energy for business. It is possible to install a small wind turbine in an opened area close to your business. This is something that happens in businesses that have farms or wide available land territories that can place wind turbines to provide electricity.
Another common option is to install these machines in wide opened land in association with other businesses or residents of the area. This association decides to go green as a community and install a wind energy system that can supply power to the neighborhood.
Hydro energy is one of the most efficient and reliable renewable energy sources. This energy source depends on a constant flow of water like a nearby river that could harvest electricity to provide power to a town, city or even to the country.
It is more common to find these sources as suppliers of large scale power plants, although small scale hydropower plants can also be considered.
More renewable energy sources
Other renewable energy sources are biomass power plants that use organic materials to create combustion and use methane to generate electricity as well. These power plants require a larger scale, but they are also suitable for villages and towns.
Other types of renewable energy sources are harder to harvest and require specific locations that can extract energy from other sources like tidal energy and geothermal power plants. These are not generally suitable for small business.
How to switch to RE and why?
Now, you may not want or may not be able to install a renewable energy plant in your business due to space constraints or due to the capital investment required.
However, there is a second option.
Thanks to the wholesale and spot electricity market established in the US, green ESCOs may be able to supply you with renewable electricity through the power grid.
It is as simple as requesting to one of these ESCOs that you want to switch from your current electricity retailer that only provides you with unstable and expensive electricity rates, to an electricity retailer that supports large scale renewable energy plants.
By signing a contract with this green electricity retailer you will have access to clean energy and contribute to reducing the climate change impact in the US.
Moreover, renewable energy sources such as solar and wind have already demonstrated to be cost-efficient and competitive against traditional fossil sources such as coal or gas. Actually, according to the levelized cost of electricity (LCOE) from Lazard’s 2018, wind is the most economic source on a large scale, followed by solar energy as you can see below.
Figure 1. Cost of Electricity $/MWh – Lazard’s LCOE 2018.
As you can see above, the estimated cost of electricity from a large scale solar PV plant is located between 40-46 $/MWh and the estimated cost for a wind energy plant varies between 29-56$/MWh. Meanwhile, coal, nuclear, combined cycle and gas peaking power plants costs can be much more expensive. As you can see, choosing wind or solar will save you a lot of money annually since they are low-cost sources of energy.
Another important advantage of switching to a renewable energy source for small businesses is that you can obtain promotion and improve your brand image as a conservative and concerned company for the environment. This will give you access to a bigger market for customers!
The Role of ESCOs in providing green energy to small businesses
The purpose of an ESCO is to optimize the energy purchase on the wholesale electricity market every day to provide the best services to the customers, including small businesses and the residential sector as well.
To promote the development of renewable energy for small businesses, an ESCO must offer alternative energy efficiency strategies to optimize your consumption, financing plans, different rates depending on the energy source and fixed or time rates that will offer you multiple options to choose from.
Moreover, customer attention to understand the benefits and the easy process required to change to a renewable energy source is also an essential role of ESCOs for small businesses.
Did you know that the Fourth National Climate Assessment in 2018 announced that the US needs to cut down carbon emissions almost by half by 2030 if the country wants to avoid terrible consequences related to climate change?
Consider switching to a renewable energy source to optimize the electricity costs of your business and also to promote a better and sustainable environment.
The Phoenix Energy Group is a reliable option for your business that can happily assist you and help you make the transition to a renewable energy source of electricity. We also assist you in registering with the EPA and promote you as a green energy company through social media posts.