Solar Helps Manage Business Energy Costs
The falling cost of solar makes it an increasingly popular choice for businesses looking to manage their power bills. Solar can be very cost-effective for businesses of every size. The information below outlines some of the considerations that go into making solar part of your business or sustainability budget.
The cost of equipment and installation – more than 70 percent over the past 10 years – has fallen and there are special tax incentives and accelerated depreciation.
- Most businesses can recover the cost of their investment in five years or less.
- The solar panels will generate electricity, and energy savings, for more than 20 years.
- Once solar panels are installed, and with minimal maintenance, the cost never increases.
- For more information and to check state incentives, visit the Database of State Incentives, below :
Consult a professional to determine if the right conditions exist. A professional assessment will look at these details.
- A flat roof or one with a 30-degree slope that faces south although a good solar contractor can adapt nearly any site to solar.
- The age and condition of your roof.
- Large trees or other structures that shade your roof for much or most of the day. A ground-mounted system may be a good choice for a business site with shading issues.
Financing and tax considerations – ITC, depreciation
- In December 2015, Congress voted to extend the Federal Income Tax Credit (ITC) for solar installation.
- In addition, solar projects that qualify for the ITC also are eligible for accelerated depreciation. This deduction allows 85% of the tax basis for the project to be depreciated over a five-year period with the greater portion being deducted in the earlier years.
- Georgia businesses now can install a solar system up to 100 kilowatts (kW) by leasing the panels or purchasing the output from a third-party provider at little or no cost for installation.
- Payment is structured through monthly charges that are lower than conventional utility rates.
- Under this method, any tax incentives, such as the ITC, will belong to the provider. These agreements usually span 15-20 years.
- The proposed contract should be scrutinized carefully before signing, and thoroughly reviewed by an attorney.
Choosing a solar contractor
- Check references and call the local business and consumer protection agencies to ask about complaints or lawsuits.
- Installer should be certified by the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP) to ensures that the installer is trained and tested in the latest approved installation techniques.
GA Solar maintains a searchable directory of professional installers to help you locate one in your area: