In Episode 69 of The Wendel Forum (originally aired on July 7, 2012, on 960 KNEW AM radio), show moderator Dick Lyons, co-founder of Wendel Rosen’s sustainable business practice group, welcomes Gary Price, a tax partner at Sensiba San Filippo, one of the Bay Area’s largest accounting firms and a green business certified under the Bay Area Green Business Program.
Dick and Price discuss how in the last few years, it’s become economical for businesses to use renewable energy sources, particularly solar and wind, which provide energy without using oil or gas. Because buildings and their occupants produce a significant amount of pollution, even businesses like accounting, law and other service firms can help the environment by buying clean energy from roof-mounted solar power systems that replace or supplement power from the grid. Even if those businesses occupy just one floor of a big building, they can contribute to lower energy consumption.
Renewable energy used to cost more than electricity purchased from utility companies. But the 2008 renewable energy credit program helped bring prices down. Within just four or five years, companies using renewable energy will see the payback, resulting in real cash savings. Using solar and wind energy also has related insurance and bank loan benefits.
A new clean tech trend is that larger renewable energy companies – perhaps a solar company or even a company that produces a part of a solar energy system – have accelerated the use of solar power by become financing companies. As a result, customers may not need cash at all to buy electricity from roof-mounted solar systems. Solar and wind energy options will continue to grow and experience increased demand, which will further drop the price point.
If a business is interested in switching to renewable energy, Price recommends finding an expert to “put the whole thing together.” Construction and engineering companies, for example, have savvy energy departments. Law and accounting firms also have specialists that put green projects together.
What would it take for your business to buy clean energy?
Listen to the interview with Gary Price: Episode 69 of The Wendel Forum(27:53 mins; mp3)
Sensiba San Filippo website: http://www.ssfllp.com/
Price’s article on Sensible Savings: http://www.ssfllp.com/sustainable-savings-how-businesses-can-profit-big-from-clean-technology/
Bay Area Green Business Program website: http://www.greenbiz.ca.gov/
960 KNEW AM Radio website: http://www.960KNEW.com
Dick Lyons’s online profile: http://www.wendel.com/rylons