Most business owners will agree that sustaining a successful enterprise often involves juggling several moving components – but underlining those are your energy needs, literally fueling all other commercial decisions. When you consider installing solar panels, the benefits not only serve your institution but the larger environment by extension. Although initial installation expenses might seem costly, they are worth budgeting for – solar power will significantly reduce your business’s carbon footprint and utility bills in the long-run.
Electricity expenses are continually rising. With solar, your business can enjoy a more reliable source of energy by relying on the sun’s energy. As a result, you can predict your monthly expenditure on power costs with more precision and consistency, painting your business in a more progressive light. Plus, with the many advances in design and overall aesthetic, solar panels may make your business even more attractive from the outside in. Along those lines, going solar signifies the ultimate investment, generating considerable long-term savings to your business’s bottom line.
In fact, solar energy costs are lower than they’ve ever been – the Solar Energy Industries Association observed a 30% drop in the average price of a commercial solar PV project between 2013 and 2015, with further reductions since and more expected markdowns coming soon. Additionally, government incentives like accelerated depreciation and tax credits may further incentivize this venture. So, now that we’ve established the clear advantages of going commercially solar, what are the options?
Good question – while whichever choice your business undertakes strongly depends on your present finances and specific goals, there are five basic avenues currently in place and all offer ownership options, if structured properly, at the end of term even for Lease & PPA. The Cash Purchase and Loan option best allow businesses to maximize big tax credits. Conversely, an Operating Lease can allow you to pay in installments, lending itself to lower up-front costs and a shorter time frame. A Power Purchase Agreement might be better suited for the non-profit organization, involving a third party financer who charges the business-in-question a lowered rate for usage. A Property Assessed Clean Energy plan, or PACE plan for short, permit local governments to finance the upfront costs, while the business itself recompensates said inter-judicial authorities via a property tax assessment. Lastly, select businesses earn Solar Renewable Energy Credits in certain areas, usually converting them to cash upon payment. While the paths to going solar are diverse and accommodating, businesses should first account for their unique financial circumstances – that’s the sure-fire way to inform all subsequent choices. Happy solar-hunting.