Green Technologies that Save Companies Money

on December 30, 2014 at 11:00 AM

Chinese Solar Manufacturer Supplies a Growing Domestic MarketBusinesses that want to go green often worry about whether they can recoup the expense of adopting new technology. In many cases, green tech is very affordable. Your business could even save money by adopting some of the following technologies.

Thin-Film Solar Cells

Many businesses would like to disconnect from the grid so they can save money by producing their own energy. Solar panels, however, often require big investments. They can pay off over a decade or more of use, but the initial cost prevents companies from buying solar panels.

Traditional solar panels also have limited functionality. They work well for businesses that need to power large offices or factories, but small businesses can find themselves wishing they had a more flexible option.

They do. It’s called thin-film solar cells. Thin-film solar cells can go practically anywhere. They’re flexible and they don’t require large panels that cost a lot to install. You can even put them on your office windows.

Thin-film solar cells cost less, but they aren’t as efficient as traditional photovoltaic panels. As more researchers invest in the technology, though, the cells keep getting more efficient.

Smart Electric Meters

Electricity fuels the technology businesses need to increase efficiency and stay competitive. Unfortunately, the electrical grid hasn’t kept up with our sophisticated devices.

Companies can grumble to their electricity providers about poor service, but that hasn’t convinced providers to update the untrustworthy grid. The most you can do is employ a smart meter that sends helpful information to providers so they can improve service without spending millions on local grid updates.

Smart meters can tell providers when the power goes out and what times of day they use the most electricity. Smart meters can even communicate with your machines to improve efficiency, tell them to only operate during non-peak hours, or turn them off when not in use.

LEED Buildings

Buildings that score on the Leadership in Energy and Energy Design (LEED) use several techniques to improve energy efficiency. Some of the designs use common sense approaches such as using large windows for natural light instead of always turning on interior lights that need electricity.

Other approaches to green building use recycled materials, highly efficient insulation, and tree placement to reduce energy needs. By lowering the amount of electricity and gas the building uses for things like lighting and climate control, businesses can also lower their energy bills.

Other common traits found in LEED buildings include:

  • rainwater management
  • rooftop greenhouses
  • locally sourced construction materials
  • parking lots with a canopy of solar panels

Smartphone Apps

google play

Image via Google Play

Plenty of businesses already use apps to improve employee efficiency and monitor projects. Those on the cutting edge, though, have adopted smartphone apps that help them save money while going green.

Small, medium, and large businesses can benefit from green apps for Android phones. Some apps that might suit your business’s needs include:

  • GreenPower Free Battery Saver that makes smartphones more efficient
  • GoodGuide, a free app with environmental information on over 170,000 products
  • Photovoltaic Estimation, a free app that calculates how much energy you can get from solar panels
  • Energy Consumption Analyzer, a free app that tracks your office’s energy consumption

Rooftop Turbines

If you’ve ever driven out west, you probably passed one or two turbine farms. These farms can have hundreds of turbines generating electricity from wind power.

Businesses that don’t live near a wind turbine farm might not have the opportunity to use wind as a sustainable resource. Installing a rooftop turbine changes that.

Rooftop generators are most popular in places that don’t have 12 months of sunny skies. Without constant sunlight, solar panels become unreliable. If your area has plenty of wind, though, you can harness its power by installing a generator on your building’s roof.

Experts estimate that a rooftop turbine could fulfill about half of a household’s energy needs. As a business, you’ll probably need a little more than that. Consider installing several turbines or mixing them with solar panels.

Would these green technologies help your company succeed? Which options seem most useful to you?

Randy Vulture is a freelance writer based out of Brooklyn, New York. When he’s not trying his best to be an activist, he spends his time researching world news to stay educated on all things current.