How renewable energy gives your business a competitive advantage

Updated: Feb 21


With increasing electricity prices, many small and medium-size companies have come to dread opening that power bill. There are, however, solutions to both minimise cost and provide your business with a competitive advantage.

Last year, 24% of Australia's total electricity generated was from renewable energy sources, including solar, wind and hydro.

The Australian Government has a Renewable Energy Target set for 2030. The scheme incentivises households, businesses and the community to install eligible small-scale systems, including rooftop solar panels, solar water heaters and small-scale wind or hydro systems. While the scheme runs until 2030, the level of subsidy reduces each year between now and the end of the scheme. That means the earlier you act, the greater your return on investment.

In addition to government subsidies, there are tailored asset finance options from your lender and the Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC). Now is a better time than ever to make important business decisions around sustainability.

Cost savings

To get the maximum benefit from a solar system, you want to be offsetting your peak power usage. If you consume most of your electricity during typical business hours when the sun is shining - solar is for you!

Solar does have an upfront cost; the typical payback period is approximately 3 to 7 years. However, the solar panels have a design life of 20 to 25 years, so you reap the cost savings for years to come. In addition, battery storage is becoming more affordable. Batteries have the advantage of providing a small amount of backup power if the power does go out, or can be used to offset some of your after-hours electricity consumption.

There are also many online solar calculators which allow you to input your average power bill cost to determine how much you can save.

Environmental Sustainability

There is an increasing demand for businesses, from both clients and consumers, to demonstrate a reduction of carbon emissions. For small and medium companies, electricity consumption accounts for the majority of your carbon footprint. By installing renewable power (such as solar), it provides a significant reduction in your company's environmental footprint. You can then utilise this as part of your business marketing to demonstrate how your business takes proactive steps to lower its environmental impact.

Suppose you don't have ample roof space. In that case, there are still alternatives available. For example, you can purchase green power through your various electricity suppliers. If you are in a leased facility and your landlord isn't keen on installing solar, this is also an option for you. While you may not reduce your power bills, you still benefit from being able to market your use of 'green' power. Not to mention minimise your impact on the environment.

Next steps

On behalf of the Australian Government, the CEFC invests in technologies and projects that reduce emissions and deliver the benefits of clean energy to more energy users. The CEFC works with a range of financial institutions to extend its finance across Australia to small-scale clean energy projects such as rooftop solar, electric vehicles, farm equipment, battery storage and other eligible technologies. Your broker can provide more information about how to access this finance.

If you're ready to take advantage of clean energy, contact your broker regarding sustainable finance options. They can help you to take advantage of government support or tailored asset finance solutions from the CEFC.

This information is for general information purposes only. The information contained herein does not constitute financial or professional advice or a recommendation. It has not been prepared with reference to your financial circumstances or business and should not be relied on as such. You should seek your own independent financial, legal and taxation advice as to whether or not this information is appropriate for you.


Original post by Bank of Queensland

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