This article was originally written for the Wichita Business Magazine in September of 2023. Read its original copy here

The need for new energy solutions is at the forefront of the minds of commercial and industrial clients, and it’s easy to understand why. According to data from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average cost of electricity in the United States has risen by a staggering 22% since 2020. Simultaneously, recent legislation has created long-term tax credits and incentives for renewable energy, including solar power. On top of that, the cost to manufacture and install solar photovoltaic (PV) systems continues to decline.

The case for solar

Business owners in Kansas have reached an opportune moment to explore solar energy for their facilities. The US Energy Information Center reveals that Kansas has the second-highest retail cost per kilowatt-hour of electricity in the central United States. Moreover, Kansas boasts the 6th highest average sunlight hours, making it an ideal location for harnessing the power of the sun.

When decision-makers of businesses, governments and organizations make energy-related decisions, a variety of factors come into play. Unsurprisingly, financial factors are a leading consideration. As financial incentives have caught up to environmental motivations, solar energy has become a sound investment. Solar power offers a clear cost-saving advantage over traditional electricity sources. This financial benefit is driving many entities to switch to solar, as it improves their bottom line and allows for cost savings that can be redirected to other critical areas of their operations.

The environmental impact is another crucial consideration. Solar energy is a clean, renewable source of power that helps reduce carbon emissions and minimize reliance on fossil fuels. Transitioning to solar allows businesses to demonstrate their commitment to sustainable practices and position themselves as leaders in their industries. This not only appeals to eco-conscious customers but also helps meet regulatory requirements and boosts brand reputation.

Grid support is also a vital factor to contemplate when exploring solar energy solutions. Solar power systems can offset electricity usage during peak demand periods, contributing to a more stable and reliable energy infrastructure for all users. By generating electricity locally, organizations alleviate the strain on the grid during high-demand hours. This grid support function of solar energy helps them meet their sustainability goals while simultaneously enhancing the overall resilience of the power grid.

Finally, solar energy can offer back-up storage power. When paired with battery-backup systems, solar installations can store excess energy generated during the day and utilize it during times of low sunlight or power outages. This capability provides businesses with an added layer of reliability and ensures uninterrupted operations, which is critical for companies that rely heavily on technology and continuous power supply.

Where to start

When contemplating the adoption of solar energy, business owners typically start by asking whether it’s a viable option for their operations. Hutton Energy Services (HES), Hutton’s turnkey commercial solar services provider, guides businesses through this process to help them make informed decisions. Here’s a step-by-step approach that businesses typically undertake:

  1. Energy Consumption Analysis: HES conducts a detailed analysis of a business’s energy consumption patterns, examining their electricity bills and identifying peak usage periods. This analysis provides insights into the potential benefits of solar energy, such as offsetting high electricity costs during peak demand times.
  2. Financial Evaluation: HES assists owners in conducting a comprehensive financial evaluation, considering the upfront costs of solar system installation, available incentives and long-term cost savings. This evaluation helps determine the return on investment (ROI) and the payback period for the solar project.
  3. Energy Resilience Analysis: HES helps business owners evaluate the benefits of battery-backup systems and assess the impact on their operational reliability. Understanding the potential for uninterrupted power supply during outages or grid disruptions allows owners to make informed decisions about investing in solar energy storage solutions.
  4. Consultation with HES: Engaging with HES’ experienced solar experts, business owners receive personalized consultations. HES assesses their unique requirements and provides tailored recommendations, ensuring that the solar solutions align with the specific needs and goals of the business.

By following this systematic approach with the guidance of Hutton Energy Services, business owners can make informed decisions about whether solar energy is a good fit. The expertise and knowledge they provide ensure that businesses maximize the benefits of cost savings, environmental responsibility, energy security and reliability while navigating the complexities of solar energy adoption. As the leading provider of full-service turnkey PV solar installations, HES empowers businesses in Kansas to harness the benefits of solar energy.

In addition, Hutton Energy Services Leader Jeff Hohnbaum visited with Good Day Kansas to talk about these Energy Services Solutions. Watch that video here:

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