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Considerations of Solar Energy for Construction Executives

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By Dane O’Leary

The construction industry is busy, fast-paced, and sometimes even a little hectic. Projects are frequently spread out over an entire region with company resources divided according to project size and priority. As many clients tend to anxious for access to their new or renovated space, there can be pressure among executives to ensure that projects remain on schedule and have everything needed for timely completion.

With larger construction projects requiring crews to work at a single site for months and even years at a time, solar energy provides a renewable, sustainable source of energy for many of the project needs. Rather than paying for electricity via the local power grid or sourcing energy through the consumption of expensive fuels, energy from the sun is free, widely available, and solar power equipment could be relocated when a crew finishes one project and begins a new one at a different location.  

Cost Versus Savings

One of the primary selling points for residential solar energy is the potential for long-term savings, specifically by either reducing or eliminating consumption of grid-based electricity and fossil fuels. It’s estimated that the average homeowner pays roughly $170 each month in home energy costs, but could save $1,000 annually by installing a solar energy system. However, the savings potential is even higher when solar energy is used commercially.

The drawback is that for solar energy to save a company money, that company must first spend money to be able to harness that solar energy. Construction companies have a particularly high energy consumption for several reasons; they often have a large office space — and it’s not uncommon for a company to have more than one — as well as having to supply a number of construction sites with the manpower, tools and energy required to complete a project. Additionally, new structures — both commercial and residential — are incorporating solar energy systems at higher rates than ever before, which makes it possible for crews to harness solar energy using the solar energy systems they will be installing.  

Green Business

While energy savings is always a main consideration, the fact that solar energy has no direct negative effect on the environment is another of the reasons why many companies are choosing to go solar. The only negative impact attributable to solar energy comes from the production, distribution and installation of solar photovoltaic panels rather than the panels themselves; however, construction companies using solar energy are doing their part to negate the incidental effect that solar has on the environment. Additionally, construction companies that use solar energy have a substantial reduction of greenhouse emissions and a significantly smaller carbon footprint, which allows them to advertise their efforts to reduce dependence on foreign oil and to battle global warming.

Dane O’Leary is a design blogger for Modernize.com. He has degrees in psychology and anthropology with additional study in journalism, graphic design, and public relations. Dane is currently working on his debut novel.

Have an idea for a guest blog for Construction Today? Contact alan.dorich@phoenixmediacorp.com or jim.harris@phoenixmediacorp.com.