Commercial Buildings, Part II
You’ve heard about solar energy, maybe you think it’s great for some people’s houses, but have you considered what it might do to boost your revenue from your commercial building? Let’s consider for a moment what might have happened if you had Installed a solar energy system on your most recently-completed building.
For the second installment in this series, let’s look at commercial structures made for retail.
Small Storefront Retail
If your most recent building was built for small storefront retail, then your situation is probably most like that of an apartment building. While sometimes a retail structure is built and then sold to someone else to manage, in this case we’ll look at one that you have built to keep.
Like an apartment building, you’re on the hook for operations and maintenance of that structure. You get the bills for electric use in common areas and those areas that are your responsibility such as lighting and signage. Maybe you even supply your tenants with electricity. If you get any electric bills at all, you know that over the long term that cost is unpredictable. The utility can raise your rates or change your billing structure without much warning, and you only get to react to it.
A solar electric system that offsets those bills will allow you to be proactive in controlling those costs. Plus, in the long term once your savings has recouped the initial cost of the system, your operating costs are that much lower because the fuel that powers that system is free. If you’re planning to keep your building for more than a few years, you will get to the point where it will be paying you.
You also have another option for recouping the initial cost of a solar electric system. You can sell the power you generate from your system to your tenants. In effect, you can be their electric utility – at least in part – giving you an entirely new revenue stream that you could not have had by any other means.
If your most recent building was built for a large retail establishment, then you will be especially interested in attracting and keeping tenants. Obviously, solar can do nothing for the building’s location, traffic pattern, or nearby homes or businesses. But many large corporations these days are looking for ways to be “green.” The presence of a solar array on your building can contribute to these companies’ green marketing effort, and such a building’s offering may be an attractive differentiator to them over a competing location. Companies may choose your building simply because it has a solar array on it. And they would be willing to pay a premium to get it.
Solar energy can be a cost-effective amenity to help keep your building occupied, at a dollar amount that can be recovered (usually with margin to spare) in the lease.
In the same manner as the small retail scenario, you have another option for recouping the initial cost of a solar electric system. You can sell the power you generate from your system to your tenant(s). In effect, you can be their electric utility – at least in part – giving you an entirely new revenue stream that you could not have had by any other means.
End of Part Two
We’re just getting started! Stay tuned for more….