In an ideal world of eco-thusiasts, all buildings would run on totally green power, creating no carbon footprint whatsoever. Unfortunately, the majority of homes, offices, and other buildings still run on electricity from the grid, natural gas, and the like. In other words, they operate entirely on the consumption of fossil fuels. Such buildings are estimated to draw nearly half of all fossil fuel energy produced, and as a result, they are responsible for massive greenhouse gas emissions. But the greenies out there will be happy to hear that the concept of net-zero energy buildings that consume no fossil fuels and produce no carbon emissions is becoming more widely accepted. In fact, all kinds of companies, seeing the money that can be saved through this model, are looking for ways to cut their carbon footprint and reap the financial benefits. But there are plenty of reasons why net-zero buildings are growing in popularity.
The major draw for most companies, of course, comes in the way of monetary savings. Although it can be expensive to add solar panels, a wind turbine, or geothermal heating to a building, the rising popularity of these alternative energy options has led to more efficient technology and lower prices, making them more affordable than ever before. And since some states have mandated increases in alternative energy production, many power providers have started offering deals for installation and product that include no up-front payments. Of course, there’s also the draw of savings down the road, and the company that installs solar panels to provide for their electrical needs could not only see a reduction in utility bills, but even an over-production of energy that can be sold back to the grid at a profit. In short, creating a net-zero energy building is a sound financial strategy.
However, companies that go this route will also benefit in other ways, namely via an improved public image. Net-zero buildings can not only cut monthly operating expenses, they also have the ability to boost recognition and sales if properly marketed. This may sound rather underhanded, but companies that take an eco-friendly approach to their business practices should certainly use it as a selling point, attracting consumers that want to support companies that take strides towards a cleaner, greener future for our planet and its inhabitants. When it comes to creating a brand image that consumers hold in high regard, going green is one of the best options. And considering that consumers in this targeted demographic are often willing to spend more for products and services provided by green companies, you stand to increase earnings in a number of ways by taking your building to net-zero status.
Of course, going green is about more than simply using renewable energy. Although net-zero energy buildings probably represent the greatest potential fiscal benefits, you should also consider how conserving water, going paperless, and cutting waste in other areas will help your company and the environment at the same time. Green living is more than just a consumer directive; it is a mindset. And if you truly want your company to do less harm, there are always new methods to consider. That said, creating a net-zero energy building is a great place to start.