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Savvy companies across the US are increasingly moving towards solar energy because it’s cost effective and good for the environment. While investing in solar is a smart investment for any commercial building, it could be the single best investment that a shopping mall owner will ever make, especially with the latest consumer trends favoring online shopping. It is known that, as more and more shoppers go digital, sales at physical stores are declining and many big retail chains have been closing their department stores. As shopping mall landlords are scrambling to figure out ways to keep business flowing, now is the time to switch solar, and here is why.
Benefits from installing solar panels on commercial rooftops:
- Lower Operating Expenses: The most direct benefit from switching to solar is the positive impact on operating expenses, by substantially lowering the building’s annual energy bills. In fact, for many businesses, electricity costs represent the single largest operating expense.
Another factor to consider is that utility electricity rate hikes continue to rise - solar allows companies to lock in fixed energy prices for decades.
- Raise top-line Revenues: LEED-certified buildings with solar and efficiency attributes produce higher rents and/or lower vacancy, according to the Department of Energy.
Solar can also provide tenants with a compelling reason to extend the terms of their lease - locking a 30-50% lower energy rate for the remainder of the lease by extending the lease.
- Solar is now cost competitive with utility power on an unsubsidized basis. Over the years, the cost of solar energy has come down dramatically. Plus, taking advantage of federal and state incentives can significantly help lower the upfront capital costs to install solar.
- Variety of financing opportunities for solar, many of which are flexible: Power Purchase Agreement; Operating Lease; Self-financing; Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) programs. PACE financing is tied to the property, not the end-user or property owner. Therefore, it’s not reliant on the owner’s creditworthiness.
- Hundreds of companies and U.S. cities have pledged major greenhouse gas (GHG) reductions - solar is one of the primary strategies to work towards those goals. It is smart to join this wave of corporate clean energy commitments and gain a competitive advantage. Also, many global companies that have set 100% clean energy goal will be seeking real estate and retail space that is powered by clean energy.
- Generate positive publicity by becoming a green business and achieving a zero carbon footprint.
It is clear that there are many benefits that come with PV solar panel installation and that there are many external factors to facilitate this type of investment. For malls in particular, this could be a smart way to keep business flowing. It is a win-win situation for business and for the environment, lowering energy expenditures and improving the bottom line.