If you own a commercial building, one of the things that is probably on your radar is the decision about whether to shift toward “net zero” emissions. The term “net zero” refers to industrial or commercial buildings (or residential homes) that are highly efficient and generate as much or more in renewable energy than they consume for things like electricity, heat, and cooling. There is a common misconception that the road to becoming a net zero company is expensive and difficult, but in reality it’s a good business decision that many companies are implementing because it benefits the bottom line (as well as the environment).
The fact that the climate is changing is not in doubt; how quickly it changes, and how much that impacts things like sea level rise, extreme weather, and other things, depends on how much carbon we produce in the coming years. Many governments and policymakers are trying to slow the growth in carbon emissions, but the reality is that government action can only go so far—businesses need to be on board as well to really make a difference.
Despite a lack of progress on a national and international level, many large companies like Costco, Walmart, Target, Prologis, and DuPont, have already seen how beneficial it can be to install renewable energy systems to generate more power. Solar panels have become the easiest and most efficient way to reduce carbon emissions.
Many companies mistakenly think about solar in terms of being only a cost. While it is true that there are up-front costs to installing a solar panel system, the benefits that you will realize once it’s installed often far outweigh the initial cost (not to mention things like tax credits that can offset those up-front costs). When you do the cost-benefit analysis you will find, as many businesses have, that it’s more of an investment than an expense. In fact, Walmart, a business built around keeping costs as low as possible for its customers, sees sustainable energy as a cornerstone of its low-cost business model.
Today about 40% of all electricity usage comes from commercial buildings, with another 25-30% from manufacturing companies. Since more than half of U.S. power comes from burning fossil fuels, the switch to solar for commercial and industrial buildings can significantly reduce the amount of carbon generated every year from electricity—even quicker than if every home in the U.S. switched to solar.
The first step toward becoming a net zero building (or switching to renewable energy, even if it doesn’t completely get you to net zero emissions) is to talk to Intermountain Wind and Solar. We can help you identify what your solar power needs are, and how to get them installed so you can start saving energy right away.
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