MAKING YOUR COMMERCIAL SPACE ENVIRONMENTALLY FRIENDLY June 8, 2022 | Management , Investment | save money , commercial real estate trends , business tips , building renovation , commercial HVAC To commemorate World Environment Day, your team here at National Property Inspections, Inc. wanted to fill you in on interesting ways to make your commercial property more energy efficient. Creating a space that is environmentally friendly is an easy way to boost curb appeal and increase buyer awareness–all while improving the planet for generations to come. The best part is that there is a huge return on investment when it comes to creating more energy-efficient properties. Energy Efficiency The best way to preserve energy resources is by investing in solar panel energy. Solar panels not only cut traditional energy costs in half, but they aid our environment by creating a form of energy not dependent on fossil fuels or other fuel sources known to cause environmental pollutants. On average, solar panels cost about $25,000. While installing solar panels appears to come at an expensive price on the surface, it should be noted that there are several government-sponsored programs to help compensate for the price of solar panels. One form of government aid used in support of environmental stability is federal income tax credits. By using federal income tax credits, it is possible to receive 30 percent of the total system cost, including equipment and installation. However, it should be noted that many companies now install their solar panels for free. Another way to help supplement the cost of solar panels is via Solar Renewable Energy Credits (SREC). These credits work slightly differently from federal income tax credits in that they accumulate throughout the year and can be sold to other companies by you, the owner. The money generated from selling these credits can go towards the cost initially paid for the equipment needed for your solar panels. According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency, the return on investment on the cost of solar panels takes approximately 3½ years. Furthermore, solar panels are a good addition to any property, as they improve the resale value of commercial buildings. Another benefit of incorporating solar panels into your business is that solar panels provide an additional layer of coverage on your roof. This helps to further decrease the expenditure of HVAC usage during hot summer months for additional savings. Plus, the addition of solar panels also acts as a barrier between your roof and any damage to be caused by seasonal storms and hail damage. DIY Projects While there is a substantial initial cost for larger environmentally friendly projects, there are several do-it-yourself projects to pursue that are of little to no cost. One way to honor the environment is to assemble a crew of neighbors and work volunteers to create neighborhood beautification projects. These projects can include picking up any trash that has accumulated on your property and encourage others to do the same. A good place to start this undertaking is by asking interested employees to sign up for these projects and inquiring if their families would also like to participate. From there you can organize one Saturday a month where everyone comes together to pick up trash on your property and in surrounding neighborhoods. Another cost-effective way to celebrate the environment is to encourage your volunteers and neighboring businesses to invest in carbon offsets. The investment of planting trees and other greenery on your property will reduce your carbon imprint and improve the air quality of your building as well. One of the more creative ways to promote your environmental efforts and market your business at the same time is by hosting shredding and garbage disposal events in your city throughout the year. This is not just a good opportunity to help your neighbors by disposing of unwanted items, it’s a wonderful way to make sure that products that are harmful to the environment are disposed of properly, preventing further damage. This is also a good chance to promote your business as the sponsor of the event. Through sponsorship of events like this you are putting a name to a face when it comes to brand awareness. This type of recognition is key in becoming a go-to business to the general public, increasing interest, retention, and tenant referrals. State Legislation If you would like to take your environmental efforts a step further, you can initiate the process by first writing to your locally elected governing bodies about the benefits of environmental conservation. You can also attend public meetings in person to request cleaner running public transit system options and more electrical car charging stations. Furthermore, as a citizen and property owner you can request that better environmental building codes be passed to ensure insulation and ventilation choices made on new builds don’t have a negative impact on the environment. Everyday Conservation You can make a positive difference to the environment daily. For some inspiration on how to do so, follow these easy tips: Make sure that your commercial property has plenty of recycling bins. Encourage the use of reusable office items (i.e., mechanical pencils). Reduce your use of plastics opting for glass materials instead. Foster the implementation of proper waste management strategies. Appropriately mark waste and recycling bins. National Property Inspections is your commercial building expert. Check out more tips from NPI here .