Go Green: Are Solar Panels Worth It for My Business? Find out How to Calculate It!

Posted on Dec 6 2016 - 7:10am by admin

Renewable energy solutions have become a hot topic of discussion among business owners and homeowners alike. The potential for big savings on electricity bills is an attractive prospect, but a lot of people aren’t convinced that the savings you could make are worth the initial investment. If your business is considering going green, then you’ll need to work out how much energy you actually use.

Solar Panels

Research Your Options

There are conferences around the world that will explain and showcase some of their technological improvements when it comes to green energy. For example, Kenya’s Renewable Energy Conference in Nairobi showcases some of Kenya’s renewable energy potential. A trip to an energy conference could give you an insight on the industry as a whole. Perhaps you want to invest and support the growth of new technologies, or perhaps you prefer to rely on tried and tested methods of going green. Either way, it’s important to research your options before committing.

Do the Math

You can utilise simple online calculators (or use your own calculations) to determine how much energy you could save by switching. For example, to calculate the cost of keeping the lights on in your office. You can do it with these simple steps:

  1. Find out the wattage for the lights used in your office. For example, 100 watts
  2. Multiply the wattage by the amount of hours you use them. Let’s say your office is active for 16 hours, this will be 100 watts x 16 hours = 1600 watts
  3. Now convert it to kilowatts. You can do this by dividing by 1000, so in our case, it will be 1.6
  4. Now we have our 1.6 kWh or 1.6 kilowatt-hours per day
  5. Now multiply it by the number of days in the month, so in our example, we can do 1.6 x 30 which is 48 kWh per month
  6. Now find out how much you pay per kWh. The standard price in the United States is about 12 cents per kWh
  7. Now you can multiply the monthly kWh by the price. For our example, we do $0.12 * 48, which equals to $5.76 per month, per light

If you have ten lights around the office, that’s already $57.60 that you spend per month on the lights alone.

An average solar panel that costs $5000 can output around 400 kWh of energy per month. Using the above calculation, we can determine that for our example case a single solar panel can provide enough energy for eight light bulbs. Eight bulbs equal to $46.08 per month, so you’ll need to have the solar panels around for nine years before they start to pay off.

Decide For Yourself

If you’ll be using your office for close to a decade, then you could make potential savings after the nine-year mark. This is of course just an example, but you can use the same calculation for any electrical device The investment is a big one, but if you’re going to stay in your current office for a long time, then it might just be worth it.

Keep in mind that every solar panel will have different costs and different outputs depending on your location. Do ample research and make sure that you do the math before investing into a solar panel.

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