Harnessing Solar Power:  A Sustainable Solution for Tourism Operators

June 3, 2024
P4B Solar

In recent years, the spotlight on sustainability has intensified, with individuals and businesses alike seeking ways to reduce their carbon footprint and embrace eco-friendly practices.  This shift towards sustainability is not just a passing trend; it is a response to growing customer demand and expectations, escalating electricity rates, and a collective recognition of the need to combat climate change.

In this blog we’ll explore how commercial solar energy systems are becoming a cornerstone of sustainability efforts, driving significant changes in the industry and offering compelling benefits for tourism businesses.

What is driving the focus on sustainability?

There’s no doubt that the focus on sustainability is continuing to grow, and there are a number of factors driving this:

  1. Growing Customer Demand: Consumers are increasingly drawn to businesses that prioritize sustainability. Whether it’s conscious consumerism or genuine environmental concern, customers are actively seeking out eco-friendly products and services, including those powered by renewable energy.
  2. Escalating Electricity Rates: The rising cost of electricity has made businesses more conscious of their energy consumption. Solar energy presents an attractive alternative by offering long-term cost savings and insulation against unpredictable utility costs.
  3. Carbon Emissions Concerns: With mounting awareness of climate change, businesses are under pressure to reduce their carbon footprint. Solar energy provides a clean and renewable alternative to fossil fuels, allowing businesses to significantly lower their greenhouse gas emissions.
  4. Leadership in Sustainability: In South Australia, the tourism industry has emerged as a leader in sustainability efforts. By investing in solar energy solutions, tourism operators can showcase their commitment to environmental stewardship while reaping the benefits of reduced operational costs.
Instagram Post Showing The Solar Panels That Were Installed On Top Of The Bremerton Wines Facility.

How have things changed in the solar industry over recent years?

The solar industry has witnessed remarkable advancements in technology and infrastructure over the past decade, driving significant changes and offering unprecedented opportunities for businesses:

  1. Enhanced Monitoring and Management: Innovations in energy metering and monitoring have revolutionized how businesses understand and manage their power consumption. Solar systems now offer real-time visibility into energy usage patterns, allowing for more efficient optimization and tailored solutions. These meters also offer us the ability to showcase energy productions and savings through innovative displays in reception areas, or on a business’ website, assisting in decision-making for those eco-conscious customers.
  2. Increased Efficiency and Lifespan: Solar panels have become more efficient, with capacities nearly doubling in recent years. This means businesses can generate more power from limited roof space, maximizing their energy production and return on investment.
  3. Evolution of Battery Technology: Battery storage systems have undergone significant improvements, offering longer lifespans and greater storage capacities. Businesses can now rely on batteries to store excess energy generated during the day for use during peak demand periods or in the event of grid outages.

Calculating solar ROI and determining system size

One of the most frequently asked questions when it comes to solar is “how long will it take my system to pay for itself?”, and this is understandable given soaring energy costs and the pressure that this is placing on South Australian business owners.

We first take the time to determine the correct solar system size for a business through a thorough analysis of consumption data.  By examining historical usage patterns and integrating average daylight hours across the year, we can tailor a solar solution to suit your needs, and give a very good indication on the ROI period.

While the ROI period depends on many different factors, those with medium energy usage levels can see return on investment within 2.5 – 3 years.

Top tips for businesses considering solar

For tourism businesses contemplating solar energy investments, we have 3 top tips:

  1. Invest in quality:  Take your time to research not only the provider that you choose, but also the technology that they are looking to install.  Cheap systems can lead to long-term issues and higher maintenance costs.  If you invest in a reliable system upfront, you can be confident in optimal performance, durability, and support from the company you engaged with.
  2. Explore financing options:  If you are not in a position to pay for solar upfront, there are many financing options available that make solar accessible to businesses of all sizes.  With financing readily available and potential savings outweighing loan repayments, the investment can be cashflow positive from day one. 
  3. Long-term perspective:  Solar energy is a long-term investment that offers substantial benefits over its lifespan.  Businesses, including those who are tenants, can reap the rewards of solar energy by considering their long-term occupancy of a commercial site.

Commercial solar energy solutions offer businesses a pathway to sustainability, cost savings, and enhanced brand reputation. By embracing solar power, businesses can not only reduce their environmental impact but also future-proof their operations against rising energy costs and contribute to a cleaner, greener future.