Solar Helps Manage Business Energy Costs

Energy costs for a business ca really stack up. 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. 

Savings potential

The cost of equipment and installation has decreased – more than 70 percent over the past 10 years – and in addition there are tax incentives such as credits and accelerated depreciation.  

  • Most businesses can recover the cost of their investment in about five years or less when purchased outright.
  • There are a wide variety of financing options that can provide a positive cash flow from day 1 of going solar.  
  • The solar panels are typically warranted to generate electricity for more than 25 years.
  • Once solar panels are installed, the cost of electricity never increases, whereas the cost of power from utilities doubles about every 20 years.   
  • Certain utilities offer solar programs but be careful because we found they are not always to your advantage.  

 Site suitability

Consult a professional to determine if the right conditions exist. A professional assessment will look at these details.

  • A flat or sloped roof that faces south, west or east.  Solar can also be installed over bare ground or even as a canopy over a parking lot.  
  • The age and condition of your roof and specifics of your electrical system.  
  • Large trees or other structures that cast shade for much of the day. A good "solar window" is no share from 10am - 3pm.  
  • 12 months of power usage history, how much you're paying for electricity, and any rate plan options may be more suitable for solar.  
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Financing and tax considerations – ITC, depreciation

  • Georgia businesses now can install a solar system 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, can go to the financier which makes solar accessible to non-taxable entities too. 
    • These agreements usually span 15-20 years.
    • The proposed contract should be scrutinized carefully before signing, and thoroughly reviewed by an attorney.
Click here to view a helpful guide from the U.S. Department of Energy

 

  • The U.S. Department of Agriculture offers grants and guaranteed loans to farmers and small businesses in rural areas to assist with the cost of solar installation. Applications are accepted throughout the year. See details at the link below.

Click here to view information on the Rural Energy for America Program (REAP)

Choosing a solar contractor

  • Check references, online reviews and call the local business and consumer protection agencies to ask about complaints or lawsuits.
  • Installers 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.
  • Solar Consultants, Sales Reps, and/or their Supervisor should be PV Technical Sales certified by NABCEP.   

GA Solar maintains a searchable directory of professional installers to help you locate one in your area:

View GA Solar's Online Directory