A lot of businesses seem to be "going green" lately – recycling, installing solar panels and using energy efficient materials throughout the construction process. Even some storage facilities are hopping on the bandwagon and adopting more environmentally friendly techniques. Greenbox Self Storage, downtown Denver's first solar-powered facility, will generate more than 75,000 kW of power a year, saving 180,000 pounds of CO2 annually. The building is also applying for LEED Silver certification, a prestigious standing given to businesses built with efficient and recycled materials.
Being environmentally friendly can give your storage facility a competitive edge, especially with the younger crowd. According to www.earthshare.org, 35 percent of people are even willing to pay more for business that's environmentally friendly. Your efficiency or renewable efforts can help you stand apart from your competitors, even if you're a mom and pop facility competing against one of the bigger brands.
Greenbox Self Storage has received a wide range of coverage for their green efforts, with mentions by national storage brands like Extra Space and several Colorado news publications. By sending out press releases to the right outlets, positioning your brand as an energy efficient company can get your storage facility a wide range of free publicity.
Investing in both renewable energy and energy efficiency pays for itself over time; eventually, the amount you save in utility usage will outweigh the upfront costs of energy efficiency and renewable energy. According to Josh Fine, vice president of Greenbox's management company Focus Property Group LLC, "The time it will take for [the facility] to recoup [its] investment in the panels through reduced energy bills, tax credits and rebates is five years and ten months."
Many neighborhoods, cities and states offer tax credits for energy efficiency and renewable energy efforts by businesses. Check with your local government and Dsire.org to see what's available in your particular area. Even the federal government offers significant benefits for both saving energy and producing your own; for example, a 30 percent corporate tax credit is available for solar panels. Visit EnergyStar.gov for a comprehensive list of energy saving strategies and the nationwide financial incentives you can receive.