There is significant talk about “going green” these days. Environmentally-friendly and energy-efficient lighting, green flooring, solar power, wind power and more are all making headlines as companies continue to innovate new technology and scientists deepen their understanding of how our human habits impact the environment overall. According to SC Johnson, roughly 70 percent of Americans say they know at least a fair amount about environmental issues, and that they are attempting to make green choices. Twice as many Americans recycle and buy green products today as they did 20 years ago, and 58 percent of Americans say they recycle on a daily basis. This new awareness has created a whole industry of new green technology and energy sources, which are not merely giving peace of mind to the environmentally-conscious but also saving families and businesses money. Alternative energy and energy-efficient products reduce a variety of costs, a crucial benefit for businesses and individuals alike during the economic recovery.
Since I launched SuperGreen Solutions in 2011, the green energy industry has exploded. This marked uptick in demand has taken on several forms depending on the kind of person looking to move towards a green lifestyle. First, we see businesses concerned about the cost of their power bills and their ability to afford those costs in the long term, and who are looking for ways to reduce their overhead. Second, we see business owners with what we call “green aspirations.” These are people who are concerned about climate change overall and want to structure their businesses and lives to have a positive impact on the environment. Third, we see businesses that understand how green incentives, rebates and tax credits can benefit them. These are business owners who see the benefit in obtaining the rebate and incentive to change an old, inefficient and expensive water heater to purchase a new, efficient version for the exact same price, thus reducing their overall heating costs and paying for the change with money provided from the rebate and incentive.
For these reasons, the greatest demand for green products from businesses has been for LED lighting, solar power and new efficient water heating systems (including solar, tankless gas and hybrid heat pumps). Changes that seem small, like retrofitting your office with LED lighting instead of traditional incandescent bulbs, actually create huge and immediate savings. Replacing an incandescent 100 watt light bulb with a nine watt LED bulb saves over 90 percent on power costs. LED bulbs also last for an average of 50,000 hours, or 17 years of normal use, creating additional savings on replacement and repair costs. Likewise, solar power panels last between 25 and 30 years and begin to pay for themselves after about three years with savings and rebates. That essentially creates 23 years subsequent years of free power, huge savings when you consider that the price of power in 23 years could easily be four to five times more expensive than it is now! Savings earned by switching to green energy sources compound rapidly.
These huge savings contribute to the movement we are currently seeing from businesses looking to go green, and influence the trends we anticipate in 2014 and 2015. We expect continued massive growth in Electric Vehicle Charger deployment, which saw 228 percent growth in 2013, especially from mobile businesses that are looking for more energy- and cost-efficient vehicles. We also expect to see huge growth in 2014 and 2015 for energy storage products, especially large uninterrupted power source (UPS) devices that have begun to take the place of standby generators and emergency power systems. UPS devices provide near-instantaneous restoration of power in the event of a power outage or a power spike, which is absolutely essential for businesses.
“Going green” is no longer just a way to sound trendy, but a very real and highly accessible industry that is helping businesses save money and better the environment at the same time. From small steps like changing light bulbs to big initiatives like installing solar panels to power your office, there are a range of options to help every kind of business – from the smallest operation to the largest corporation – create a brighter, greener future while putting some green back into their own pockets. Looking to save green in 2014? Then going green is the way to go.