While many larger commercial properties and operations have implemented solar, smaller commercial properties owners may hesitate. Solar does represent an investment, and in some cases, owners of smaller commercial properties may not immediately see the benefits solar can bring them. Discover some of the many ways smaller commercial properties can benefit from solar power implementations.
1. Take Advantage of Solar Incentives
Incentives and tax credit programs change over time, but they still exist. These incentives can exist at the federal and state level. In some cases, local incentives or incentives from other organizations sometimes show up as well.
The investment tax credit (ITC), also called the federal solar tax credit, allows for a 30% tax credit off the cost of installing a solar system. This credit depreciates over time:
- In 2020, the tax credit drops to 26%.
- In 2021, the tax credit drops to 22%.
- In 2022, the tax credit drops permanently to 10%.
A 30% credit is an incredible value, especially as it’s a tax credit, rather than a deduction. Even a 10% credit can represent a very nice incentive for solar installation.
At the state level, incentives can change frequently, but typically, one or more incentives are available in the form of:
- Preferential financing options
- Tax exemptions
- Lease options
- Power purchase agreements
When considering solar, always check to see what incentives your locality has available at the time.
2. Reduce Operating Costs With Solar
Small commercial properties can come with significant operating costs. A solar system can help reduce those costs in a staggering number of ways. In some cases, a solar system really can pay for itself over time strictly based on the cost reductions you can achieve through it.
If you combine a solar system with other energy-efficiency solutions, then operating costs can fall dramatically. Still, solar alone can do much for your smaller commercial property. Even a small solar upgrade can offer large cost savings.
The operating costs associated with commercial properties of any size can vary, but many of them have to do with utilities. Just keeping the lights on, the HVAC system running, and equipment functioning can cost a great deal monthly.
Solar offers energy diversity. Depending on the solar equipment and the energy needs of your property, your solar solution can power all a facility or some of it, or you can dedicate some to a specific appliance or system. In all these scenarios, you will cut energy costs to some extent.
That drop in operating costs can encompass far more than your property’s energy costs. Solar adds sustainability to your property, which creates other advantages, such as fewer maintenance costs.
Save Even More With Net Metering
Solar can also allow you to take advantage of net metering (NEM). Many states, including California, have net metering policies in place. These policies will allow you to only pay for the net amount of electricity your property uses.
If your solar equipment produces more energy than your property uses, the excess electricity will go to the grid and you’ll receive a credit for it. When you need to use electricity from the grid, you can initially pay for it with your credit. In this way, the grid can work as an electrical storage solution for you.
In the meantime, your solar solution can continue to produce electricity. Depending on your solar setup and how much electricity your property needs, the NEM process can save you a tremendous amount of money, lowering your operating costs even further.
Solar also helps to lower operating costs by mitigating fluctuating utility costs. Whether utilities costs change seasonally, yearly, or randomly, you’ll have a source of energy the utility companies can’t touch.
If you bank enough credit, you can weather any changes a utility company makes. Even if you only use solar for a single piece of equipment, you will still save funds due to that partial bit of energy independence.
3. Use Solar for Marketing
Whether you want investors, buyers, or tenants, having a solar solution in place increases the overall appeal of a smaller property. Because it’s a smaller commercial property, a solar solution does that much more for it.
Solar creates a ton of selling points in this way. In addition, solar helps to boost the reputation of both your property and your business. Since solar represents a green and sustainable choice, it shows you care about not just your bottom line, but the local environment as well.
When you’re ready to reap the benefits that solar provide, make sure you speak with a reputable installer. Solar solutions aren’t one-size-fits-all. You will need a custom setup specifically for your smaller commercial property. To learn more or to get started with a commercial solar solution, please contact Derek Sawyers Smart Energy Heating & Air today.