We live in an increasingly eco-friendly world. Today’s businesses know the value of a dollar. Many know how to save money by using solar energy. Using solar panels on your business’s roof is a good idea. It might, however, introduce several business insurance implications.
While solar panels can reduce your business’s need for fossil fuels, it might create a few risks. These risks, over time, might increase your overall policy costs.
Solar panels and roof-mounted Photo Voltaic systems are fragile. Bad weather can crack a solar panel’s protective coating. It can even expose your system’s electrical wires. If you’re set on using solar panels, watch out for the following bad weather scenarios:
- Snow and ice
- Heavy winds
- Rapid temperature changes
Because these risks can affect your business’s ability to operate, your business insurance provider might see them as liabilities. If your business has a high risk of interruption, you can often expect higher premium costs.
Your Building’s Integrity
Solar panels have come a long way. They’re still risky, though, from a construction standpoint. Solar panels affect your building’s integrity, for better or worse. They can even contribute to roof-related collapses and damages. Between rooftop repairs, building renovations and hiring contractors, you can likely expect to pay extra across multiple insurance policies.
Solar panels might be energy efficient, but they’re actually a fire hazard, in some cases. They even expose firefighters to risks. The Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy offers insight into firefighter safety when dealing with rooftop solar panels.
Remember: Your commercial solar panels are part of a high-voltage system. Their electrical conduit runs on the roof deck. Short circuits happen. Sometimes, things overheat. Even if you get regular solar panel checkups, a hot summer can quickly create a dangerous environment.
Should You Invest in Solar Panels?
At the end of the day, your business’s budget matters. If you feel your business will save money by installing solar panels, give them a shot. Make sure you’re acknowledging the insurance impact, however. Your energy bill might be lower, but your business insurance premiums might be a lot higher.
Get your solar panels examined every year, too. Modern solar panels are durable, but they still need regular check-ups and maintenance. Between electrical shock, fire and structural collapse, the risks of an unchecked solar panel system are high. If you can manage these factors, however, you can set yourself up for long-term, eco-friendly energy solutions.
Also Read: Covering Your Business From Natural Disasters