If you are a business owner or a representative of another type of organization such as a school or government agency, you might wonder whether it would be a good idea to install commercial solar panels. Is solar worth it?
The costs of electricity for many businesses are staggeringly high. There are several factors to consider when you are weighing the pros and cons of installing commercial solar panels at your organization.
Costs of installing commercial solar panels
You might think that installing commercial solar panels is out of reach for your organization. However, the cost of solar panels has fallen by approximately 80 percent since 2011. Businesses may also be able to access solar financing to pay for the cost of the panels and the installation.
Tax credits and accelerated depreciation
Organizations that install commercial solar panels are eligible to claim the federal Investment Tax Credit (ITC). This credit reduces the taxes that businesses pay dollar-for-dollar up to 30 percent of the amount invested. This credit has planned phase out. In 2020, companies that install the systems will be able to claim 26 percent. Businesses that wait until 2021 can claim 22 percent of the cost. Finally, companies that wait until 2022 and beyond can claim 10 percent of the cost of new systems. In addition, there is a federal MACRS depreciation tax benefit, which allows commercial solar customers to take the full depreciation benefit on their solar project in year 1.
Furthermore, many states also offer their own tax breaks such as property tax exemptions to businesses that install solar systems. The availability of these credits vary from state to state. Please contact PCI Solar for help identifying which possible tax incentives to discuss with your accountants.
Performance-based incentives and rebates
Performance-based incentives are another benefit that companies might enjoy for installing solar systems. Some utilities offer such incentives, paid per kilowatt hour of a customer’s solar energy production for a set number of years. Other performance incentives include solar renewable energy certificates (SRECs). SRECs are given to solar customers for each megawatt hour of electricity that their panels produce. Businesses are often able to sell their SRECs on the open market, usually through their solar financing partner, to help their solar project make economic sense.
Another potential financial incentive for solar customers are rebates and other up-front cash incentives from their utility. Such incentives often make the business case for solar highly compelling, since the cash benefit is in year one of their solar project, in addition to the above-mentioned federal tax credits.
Beyond the tax and financial benefits, installing solar panels at your business or organization can allow you to be environmentally responsible. Solar energy is a renewable energy source and is clean. When you use solar, you can reduce your reliance on electricity that is derived from sources like coal. This helps your company to reduce its carbon footprint and mitigate its impact on the environment.
Today, many people are becoming increasingly concerned about the environment. Your customers might prefer to do business with green companies. When you install commercial solar panels, it can help to build your brand and your reputation in your community.
Helps hedge against fluctuations in electrical prices
When a portion of the electricity at your company comes from solar energy, it can help you to hedge against the volatile nature of electrical prices, which are often determined by unpredictable fluctuations in the price of fossil fuel resources. Solar can also help your company to hedge against inflation. When you install solar, you can reduce the headaches that you might experience from fluctuating electricity costs. This can be especially beneficial to businesses that are trying to manage their cash flow.
Learn more about commercial solar
If you would like to learn more about the benefits of installing a commercial solar system at your business or organization, PCI Solar Energy is available to discuss it with you. We have locations across the U.S. and have substantial experience in completing large commercial solar system installations. To get a quote, request a site assessment here or call us at 888.846.8653.