Have you been considering installing solar panels on the roof of your business or property for some time now? You’re not alone.
The U.S. Department of Energy is pushing hard for the installation of solar equipment for both residential and commercial buildings alike, knowing that it will greatly aid in the reduction of our nation’s ever-growing fossil fuel pollution problem. With their joint effort alongside The Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, the solar market is expected to double in size by 2023— becoming a $4.5 billion market, according to the Solar Energy Industries Association.
But why are so many businesses going solar? Here are six benefits of installing commercial-grade solar panels:
1. Commercial solar panels can reduce your business’ operating costs.
There are essentially two routes you can take with solar panel installation. The first is to install a system that connects to your business’s meter and utility lines. Sometimes you can generate more power than your building needs to operate and send energy back to the utility company, wherein your meter may run “backward.” Back in the day of electrician service meters, you could literally watch this happen. Today’s digital meters won’t spin around in reverse, but you’re still able to count this extra energy as “credit” by your local utility provider.
“At the end of each billing period your local utility provider pays you for net excess generation at the specific rate outlined in their buyback agreement,” ALBA Energy explains. This rollover money can be carried over towards your future bills, saving you money down the road. In cases like this, you are agreeing to pay one flat rate for the term of your solar panel’s life-expectancy, meaning you won’t have to worry about electricity rate inflation over the years too.
In contrast, the energy produced by battery-operated solar panels is stored in the batteries and is all yours to save for later. Many businesses can pay off the cost of their solar panels in 5-10 years depending on your payment plan and cash flow, wherein you start saving all the energy you need at no added cost for the lifespan of the panels (usually up to 30 years). This means one less bill every month until panel replacement.
2. Your business could receive a tax break when installing solar energy.
As just another added money-saver, Section 179 in the tax code allows businesses to deduct 100 percent of the costs of certain business equipment and building upgrades, which could include the installation of solar panels. A certified solar panel installer can help you to see if you qualify.
In addition, the IRS has announced a solar panel tax credit, spanning over the next few years. If you sign up before the end of 2020, you’ll receive a tax credit for 26% of the cost of your commercial solar panels and their installation, or 22% if you get them before the end of 2021. There’s an urgency to get one installed before 2023 though, as any PV system placed in service after 2023, regardless of when it commenced construction, can only receive a maximum tax credit of 10%.
Read more about the commercial solar tax credit from The U.S. Department of Energy here.
3. Commercial solar panels can increase your business’ property value.
Solar energy is growing in popularity— and is surely only going to be more desirable with each passing year. As more businesses seek to lower their carbon footprint and rely on renewable dependable energy, more companies will seek corporate locations that offer eco-friendly perks.
By time you go to sell your business, the panels themselves will likely be paid off and reeling in energy savings, which will— in turn— be passed along to the next company owner. Because you’ll be helping them save on their electricity bills, would-be buyers are sure to see those panels as a desirable selling point. Should you rent the property, this could still work in your favor.
4. With the switch to solar energy, your business will be lowering its carbon footprint.
Take a moment to consider your brand values. If preserving your local environment and the planet aligns with your core mission and vision, it’s important to integrate that passion into every aspect of your operations. While you may use recycled packaging for your products and ethically source your materials, consider other ways you could reduce waste and pollution at your own offices and warehouses, like solar energy. Even businesses that provide services can take extra steps to make their headquarters more eco-friendly.
Adding solar panels to your business is just another way to stay true to your values and make this world a cleaner place. Anchoring your panels boldly on your rooftop or on your lawn screams to customers/clients and employees that you’re environmentally-conscious, which may inspire stronger brand loyalty from like-minded people.
5. Commercial solar panels can help to guarantee full operation during power outages.
There’s nothing worse than losing power in the middle of a workday. Not only can it halt all operations for your staff, but it also affects sales and service for your customers. This downtime means lost profitability— and few-day-long outages can really cut into your bottom line.
Those with battery-operated solar panels have nothing to worry about once the power lines are cut, since the panels will keep supplying power to your business so long as the sun is out or you have excess energy stored! If your panels are not connected to a battery system, you may still lose power if you’re getting energy from the utility company’s grid. That’s why we often advise customers who want power during outages to trust the panels with battery systems.
6. Commercial solar panels require extremely low maintenance needs.
Once your solar panels are installed, they mostly take care of themselves. Most commercial-grade panels on today’s market are rated to last anywhere from 25-30 years— and only require a brief spray down with water every three months (if it’s been a dry season) to help remove any accumulation of debris on the panels.
Other than that and a yearly assessment to ensure they’re working properly, you won’t have to worry about your panels after they’re set up until it’s time for full panel replacement.
Get a Quote for Your Panels Installation
There’s no doubt that solar panel installation could very well be the smartest move you make for your business property’s long-term energy savings.
Curious to get a quote and know how much a solar install will run your corporation? Fill out the form on our Commercial Electrical Services page to start the conversation, today.