The benefits of solar energy for your restaurant

We are always being told that energy saving measures like fitting solar panels are good for our businesses, but sometimes it is less obvious why that is. Regardless of what your business is, owners need to be aware of a number of factors, such as their costs (and how to reduce them), their carbon footprint (and how to keep it as low as possible whilst not compromising on the quality of their product or service) and their reputation amongst the general public. Without these considerations, it is impossible for a business to be successful.

For all three of these factors, however using solar panels on your commercial premises can be highly effective. And here’s why:

1] Reducing your energy bills

Fitting solar panels to your commercial building can be a great way to reduce your energy bills. Depending on the amount of energy that you use in your restaurant premises, the energy that is harnessed from solar panels – even in places which don’t get too much sunlight – can be used to offset your energy bills. Energy Star, in fact suggest that restaurants use roughly two and a half times the amount of energy as other commercial buildings, so reducing your energy bills through the use of solar panels can be very useful and especially beneficial to them.

Despite this higher amount of energy use, it might also be possible to save some of the energy which has been harvested by the solar panels and not used by your business. This means that it can then be sold back to the national grid – meaning that you have not only cut down your energy bills, you can also start making money from them. There are always government schemes which are encouraging people to use solar power to create energy, which can make it financially beneficial.

2] The future

Running a successful restaurant can be a bit of a juggling act at the best of times, but energy costs are relatively low at the moment compared to what is predicted for the future. Although it feels like the prices are high and always rising now, they are predicted to almost double before 2050 – meaning that getting solar panels for your business seems like the logical solution to protect yourself in the future.

Solar panel installation for your business should be able to provide good solar energy for between 20 and 45 years. According to Mypower, guarantees will last for about 25 years, giving you a future of stability and low energy bills for a long time to come.

3] Return on investment

As with any other business, restaurants need to be able to justify spending in terms of return on investment (ROI). Although the initial outlay might seem to be quite expensive, with the possibility of government incentives alongside the inevitable reduction in energy bills, solar panels for commercial buildings can give a great ROI. In fact, the ROI for solar panels is around 11-16% – or higher.

This means that it is extremely worthwhile for any business to fit solar panels and harvest your solar energy.

4] It’s ‘green’

As we become increasingly aware of climate change and the environment, businesses and restaurants are being judged more and more by how ‘green’ they are. Current trends in the catering world are concentrating on lowering carbon footprints, using locally sourced ingredients, recycling as much as possible and saving energy. In other words, being more ‘green’. So, fitting solar panels to restaurants or other commercial buildings is a great way to give this a boost and help to earn an environmentally friendly reputation – which would never do anyone any harm.

5] Easy maintenance

Let’s face it, if you’re running a busy restaurant, you don’t have much time to concentrate on things like the maintenance of solar panels. The good news is, however, that they are very low maintenance and reliable, meaning that you can have all of the benefits of solar panels for your business, but without having to spend time and money on their maintenance.

There isn’t really any reason why any business shouldn’t get solar panels if the building that they are in allows it. However, with the amount of energy that is already used by restaurants and other catering businesses, the potential for saving money seems even more critical. The benefits for a business to install solar panels are numerous and well worth the initial outlay.

By Ella Hendrix

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