Updated: Apr 11
One in ten small businesses create their own energy by harnessing the power of the sun. As the cost of electricity continues to grow, businesses are increasingly investing in alternative energy. There are a number of reasons it makes sense for businesses to install commercial solar power.
Commercial Solar Panels Save Money
EnergySage released marketing data that indicates average business owners pay around $1,950 a month for electricity. After solar panel installation, their bill became around $517. They offset their electricity costs by more than 75% and saved $1,433 every month.
If your business involves manufacturing, transportation, agriculture or retail, your costs are probably significantly higher. If you run a laundromat or an apartment complex, utilities are a large portion of your expense. Whether your energy consumption is standard or massive, your business will see savings from the beginning.
Most businesses take between three and seven years to pay for their solar panels and installation. Solar systems supply free energy for as long as they last, which ranges from 25 to 35 years.
Lower utility bills drastically reduce your operating expenses. You can invest the cash that stays in your pocket into other areas that result in business growth.
Not only do solar panels save you on electricity from the day they’re installed, they save you more as time goes by. Power markets are extremely volatile, shifting with the season and the economy. Costs almost always increase during peak times of the day and during high-demand months, but they also increase over time at an average of 5.5 percent each year. It’s hard to create a long-term budget when price hikes and monthly bills are unpredictable.
You can’t predict what will happen with the economy or the cost of utilities, but you can take control of the energy costs for your business. Lock-in utility rates and start generating your own inexpensive power instead of leaving future costs open to chance.
Solar Businesses Get Credit
The cost of solar panels has decreased in the last several years, making them more affordable than ever. There are also solar tax incentives that can cut down your business’s expenditure. Here’s how to make a solar panel system even more affordable.
Accelerated Depreciation – Deduct up to 85% of your solar system’s value from your annual taxes. Even though your system produces savings for 20 to 25 years, take depreciation out of your gross income in the first five years after installation. Get your investment back quickly, then continue to experience savings.
Performance-Based Incentives – Instead of paying your utility company, imagine them paying you. Receive incentives for the energy your solar panels feed back into the system.
Federal Tax Credits – Receive the Investment Tax Credit (ITC) for 30% of what your system costs. There is no limit on the amount you can spend, so whether you’re a small business needing an inexpensive system or a huge warehouse facility, you can claim the same percentage. The credit was originally set to expire in 2016, but Congress extended it through 2021.
State and local incentives – Most states have a separate rebate system that can provide your business with additional credits. Some states exempt the value of your solar system from property taxes, so even though your building is worth more, your property taxes won’t go up.
Between accelerated depreciation and tax credits, businesses can receive credit for much of what their system costs. Performance based incentives can, over the life of your system, turn an expense into a profit.
Commercial Solar Systems Are Low Maintenance
The last thing you want to do is spend business capital on something that takes time and money for upkeep. When you buy your system from a trustworthy supplier, there’s nothing you have to do to maintain it. Solar cells are protected by strong tempered glass and framed in aluminum that won’t rust or corrode over time.
Hail, rain and other environmental threats won’t damage photovoltaic cells, but most manufacturers still warranty them for between 20 and 25 years. They make no noise and don’t need any adjusting.
Commercial Solar Power Creates Marketing Opportunities
Your business doesn’t just save money by installing a solar system. It diminishes the greenhouse gas emissions from consuming fossil fuels and reduces your company’s impact on the environment. Let the public know what you’re doing to capitalize on the advantage of going green. Being environmentally responsible earns a positive response from the public.
Commercial solar power show a commitment to quality. Your business chose not just what’s best for your bottom line, but what’s best for your community. Solar panels represent your investment in quality and value. How well you manage resources can set you apart from competitors.
The investment creates an opportunity for media attention. While installing commercial panels is a rising trend, businesses are just starting to realize how beneficial it can be. When buildings go green, the media is often interested. Use the free attention to publicize your brand.
Solar systems create investment advantages. When you reduce operating expenses, it helps if you need to qualify for a business loan. If you decide to sell your business, not only is the property worth more, but the buyer calculates energy expenditures at a reduced rate. Investors are willing to pay more for a building that costs less to run.
Commercial Buildings with Solar Maximize Benefits
Homeowners are often eager to add solar systems to their homes, but geographic features or nearby structures block sunlight. They also might not be sure how long they’ll own their home. While solar providers can usually find a way to still make solar panels efficient and affordable for homeowners, commercial buildings are even better candidates for solar power.
Businesses stay in one location for long periods.
Commercial buildings are large, so they can handle extensive systems that generate large amounts of electricity.
Most businesses are in open areas with direct sunlight access for much of the day
Commercial solar power is an investment. Work with a company that helps you become energy-independent and help you maximize incentives.