The last time I heard this many people talking about fossil fuel alternatives was back in the summer of 2008. You do remember the summer of 2008, right?
If you drove a vehicle that required gasoline to cause it to engage on motion, then you should not be experiencing amnesia now.
Gas was $4.00 a gallon. I don’t know about you, but it made me crazy. Chants of “Drill baby, drill,” could be heard in close proximity to the Xcel Energy Center in Saint Paul, Minnesota. (The location of the 2008 Republican National Convention). Things were a little weird.
The recent oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico is once again causing us pause; we know in our heads that we need to find alternative energy sources. The nasty, gooey stuff we depend on will run out, eventually.
As this debate starts to get livelier, I feel in my heart that more people will start demanding change this time around. One would have to be a pretty heartless to not be affected with pictures of huge Brown Pelicans, covered with thick black oil, being carried off by U.S. Fish And Wildlife employees and local animal rescue organizations.
Maybe it will be the small business community that will turn out to be the heroes in this alternative energy debate. Maybe even some franchise businesses.
So far, I’ve seen these types of energy-related franchise types:
- Solar Panel Design & Installation
- Energy Auditing
- Electric Vehicle Sales
I wonder which ones will have a real shot at being involved in the change that needs to take place in our country. Let’s look at these models a little more closely.
- The sales, design, and installation of solar panels are becoming more popular every year. Solar panels are still expensive, but sometimes, there’s some government money available to help defray the costs. Over at dsireusa.org, (a state by state directory of incentives for renewable and efficiency) you’ll be able to find out what your state is offering. The solar franchise segment should continue to grow.
- Energy auditing and automation services can be a boon to both the small business owner, and the homeowner. “Auditors” come in to your home of office, and find the holes where energy and money are escaping. Recommendations are given, and if you choose to make the changes discussed, you should be able save some money. This is also a growing sector.
- Are you ready to pull your cars and trucks into your garage, and plug them in for the night, so you can start with a freshly “fueled” vehicle the next day? Sun Coast Auto is betting that you will. If you’re worried about the amount of energy you’ll be using to recharge your vehicle, don’t fret. Information on their website states that, “millions of electric vehicles can recharge at night using existing surplus electrical generation; a vast, virtually untapped resource.” So far, growth has been slow in this segment. Electric sports car manufacturer Tesla Motors, was going to allow people to invest in and open up franchise outlets, but they have since changed their mind on that one, and will have company-owned stores. (For now).
Could one of these franchise models be a game changer? Will legions of energy auditors, electronic clipboards in hand, start canvassing neighborhoods across America, and make all of us more energy efficient?
Will shiny solar panels start to populate residential and commercial roofs across our great nation?
Will a nighttime, white-noise like hum of thousands of plugged in electric cars and trucks finally be a reality?
I, for one, am plugged in, and energized about the possibilities.
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Joel Libava, The Franchise King,® is the president of Franchise Selection Specialists Inc, a franchise consulting firm that specializes in helping prospective franchise owners all over the US find great opportunities in franchise ownership. Joel discusses all aspects of franchising on The Franchise King Blog, is quite active in social media, and serves as the community promotions director for Small Business Trends.