Are you a business owner wanting to upgrade to commercial solar energy? Perhaps you’ve been considering solar for a while and would like to know a bit more about making the switch. While installing a solar energy system for your business may require an up-front investment, the system will pay for itself quickly and give you a good return on investment, no matter the size of your business. Overall, the benefits of a solar energy upgrade far outweigh the negatives—if any exist. Let’s look at a few of the biggest and best reasons to switch your business to solar.
- Lower energy costs
- Low-maintenance, long-lasting and reliable
- Green, sustainable energy
- Reduce gas emissions and carbon footprint
Lower Energy Costs
There are several facets to the cost reductions your business will receive after upgrading to solar energy. First and foremost—and most obvious—is the reduction your energy bill will receive. According to chron.com, having a solar power system installed is the equivalent to prepaying for almost 40 years of energy, but at a fraction of your current electricity costs. One company’s data showed that the average business owner receives a 75 percent reduction in monthly electricity costs after installing solar. Even for a small business, that alone makes the upgrade worthwhile. Imagine the savings for a large business—an even more drastic reduction.
Another prominent benefit of solar energy that will save your business money is the federal Investment Tax Credit (ITC). The ITC allows you to deduct 30 percent of the costs of your solar installation on your federal tax return—as long as you purchase the solar system yourself. Be sure to do it before the end of 2019, though; the ITC just received what may be its final extension at the end of 2016. In 2020, business owners will only be able to deduct 26 percent and 22 percent in 2021, reducing to a final—likely permanent—10 percent thereafter. Business owners can deduct 85 percent of the value of the solar panel system from taxes as well, providing an accelerated depreciation as another tax benefit. The combination of these two tax benefits can cut the cost of the solar installation by as much as 60 percent.
Low Maintenance, Long-lasting, and Reliable
Solar energy is a steady, reliable source. Solar power systems are very low-maintenance—virtually maintenance-free, in fact. Cleaning your panels is very simple—all you need to do is rinse them a handful of times per year to remove dust and debris. Several solar panels come with a 25-year manufacturer’s warranty, which will guarantee replacement of the panels if they are damaged. With this guarantee and a small amount of upkeep, you can expect your system to last you anywhere from 25 to 40 years.
Green, Sustainable Energy
As a business owner, it’s necessary to stay on top of current economic issues and trends—especially in the pro-green world we live in. Taking into account any and all avenues for going green in your business not only helps you cut costs, it also brings in customers who are attuned to current issues. Upgrading your business to solar energy will call more attention to it over competitors, and you may receive more customers because of your commitment to sustainable energy. Your upgrade to solar shows consumers that you are concerned about the future of energy and the earth as a whole—and not only will it bring you more business, but you will likely receive more word-of-mouth referrals.
In addition, your commercial property will be set for the future, because sustainable energy is where the future of energy lies. Not only will you have an inexpensive, sustainable energy source and panels that will last you a long time, solar energy also allows you to lock in your energy costs, avoiding future price hikes and unnecessary rate fluctuations.
Reduce Gas Emissions and Carbon Footprint
When you switch your energy to solar, you reduce your consumption of fuels—which in turn reduces carbon emissions and greenhouse gases. Your solar panels can generate electricity without releasing harmful gases into the atmosphere. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates that 20 years of solar energy saves approximately 320,000 pounds of carbon dioxide emissions. Not only will this contribute to improving the environment, it also decreases America’s dependence on overseas sources and helps the fight against global warming. Every little bit helps when it comes to going green, and switching America to solar energy one building at a time will put us on the track to becoming a role model for others. Even as you upgrade your business to solar, you are an example for other business owners. The numbers don’t lie: commercial solar installation has increased a whopping 487 percent over a recent 5-year period and is continuing to grow, especially with the ITC extension. In 2016 alone, the solar market grew by 95 percent. If that doesn’t prove that seeing action breeds motivation, just call a local solar installation company and ask them for some information. There is a reason why the solar industry is exploding!
Clearly, there are many valid reasons to upgrade your commercial property to solar energy, and the reasons all tie together. They work in conjunction to improve your business, secure its presence in the marketplace, and reduce its expenses and carbon footprint in both the immediate and the long-term future. Many companies offer assessments to help you decide whether solar is right for your business. If a solar energy upgrade is on your to-do list, now is the time to look into it! Take advantage of the many benefits while they are available.
Walker Reid Strategies specializes in energy efficiency, focusing on 179D deductions and 45L tax credits. We partner with many energy and tax organizations to educate and advise the public on strategies for energy efficiency and related tax deductions and benefits. Contact us directly for more information.