March 8, 2016
It’s no secret: solar energy benefits businesses, organizations, and property owners in huge ways. Businesses all across the state, country, and world are taking advantage of everything a solar PV array has to offer. But when it comes time to make a decision about going solar, it helps to have the benefits laid out. That’s why we’re sharing the top ten reasons to go solar, to help you determine if a solar solution could benefit your business.
1. REDUCED OPERATING COSTS:
One of the most tangible and substantial reasons to go solar is the reduction of energy costs. The electricity a solar system produces offsets your electrical usage, significantly reducing or in some cases even eliminating your electric bill so you can spend money elsewhere, or save the difference. For more information on how this works, read our blog on how solar effects your electric bill.
2. GOOD RETURN ON INVESTMENT:
When a business considers any big financial investment, it is important that it has a large return, and a short payback period. Solar arrays typically have a payback period of 3 to 6 years, dependent on system size and financing solution utilized. After that payback, all financial benefits and savings contribute significantly and directly to your ROI.
3. ENVIRONMENTAL LEADERSHIP:
The demand for renewable energy is real and growing in our state and throughout the country. Customers, tenants, and prospective employees are increasingly weighing a property owner’s or company’s environmental policy and commitment to sustainability in their decision criteria. By going solar, businesses contribute to the expansion and adoption of carbon-cutting renewable energy technology, helping to build a more sustainable world.
4. TAX ADVANTAGES:
To compound on the savings from reduced energy costs, federal and state governments provide tax advantages to incent property owners to deploy solar energy solutions. A property owner with the right tax situation can reduce system cost by up to 50% with the federal Income Tax Credit and accelerated depreciation. A business who has gone solar can choose to spread this benefit over the life of a system or retroactively apply it to past tax years.
5. ENERGY COST STABILITY:
Electricity costs have risen over 70% in the past 10 years and continue to do so in a volatile way – making it difficult to budget this line item year over year. With solar, you can accurately forecast the cost of your energy use for more than 25 years. Predictable energy rates mean a more predictable budget.
6. IMPROVED PROPERTY VALUES:
The American Association of Appraisers has found that a building with a solar PV array has a higher market value than the same building without, as well as better resale values for owners.*
7. REDUCED CARBON FOOTPRINT:
Solar energy is clean, renewable, and abundant. Unlike fossil fuels, solar energy does not generate harmful carbon emissions and other greenhouse gases that are known to contribute to global warming. By using solar electricity instead of electricity generated with fossil fuels, your business can reduce its’ carbon footprint and contribute to a culture of sustainability.
8. LIMITED MAINTENANCE:
While a solar array does require some maintenance and cleaning to operate at full efficiency, there is virtually no day-to-day maintenance, making it an easy “tenant” for your business. An experienced solar developer can assist in maintaining a solar PV system to achieve maximum efficiency.
9. FLEXIBLE FINANCING OPTIONS:
There are a number of flexible financing options available for commercial businesses, including options that require little to no up-front costs. Regardless of available capital or tax appetite, modern financing solutions provide favorable options for businesses and organizations of every size. Whether you want to own the system outright, lease it over 20 years, or simply purchase the power from an array – there’s a solution for virtually everyone who is interested in going solar.
10. INCENTIVES ARE RUNNING OUT:
Massachusetts has been fortunate to benefit from federal and state solar incentives that make a solar investment an excellent business decision. However, these incentives are running out, and could be gone in as little as one or two months! If you’ve ever thought about going solar, now is the time to act and become a part of the Commonwealth’s solar community.
An experienced developer can help you determine if solar is the right decision for your property.
*James F. Finlay, “Valuation Methods for Building-Mounted Solar Photovoltaic Systems,” Institute for Building Efficiency, Johnson Controls, Inc., March 2013.