Highlights

SolBid / White Papers / Solar Makes Cents

Solar Makes Cents

As businesses move towards more automated processesthereby increasing their demand for electricityand utility costs of energy continue to rise indefinitely, companies have begun searching for alternative energy solutions. In todays rapidly evolving energy industry, more and more companies are beginning to realize the benefits of installing on-site solar. Businesses that deploy solar can expect to see energy cost savings, excellent return on investment, demand reduction benefits, rebates and/or tax breaks, environmental benefits, and marketing and public relations advantages. Now is the time for all companies to reap these benefits; now is the time to go solar!

Rising Costs

As businesses move towards more automated processesthereby increasing their demand for electricityand utility costs of energy continue to rise indefinitely, companies have begun searching for alternative energy solutions. In todays rapidly evolving energy industry, more and more companies are beginning to realize the benefits of installing on-site solar. Businesses that deploy solar can expect to see energy cost savings, excellent return on investment, demand reduction benefits, rebates and/or tax breaks, environmental benefits, and marketing and public relations advantages. Now is the time for all companies to reap these benefits; now is the time to go solar!

Take Control With Solar

High return on investment for on-site solar installation is also the result of state and federal solar incentives, rebates, and tax breaks. While state and local incentive policies are constantly shifting and evolving, most states now offer local tax incentives and/or Renewable Energy Credits (RECs) for solar projects. Additionally, the federal solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC) allows residential and commercial solar installers to claim a 26 percent federal tax credit against their solar systems. The ITC operates on a sliding scale, dropping to 22% in 2021 and permanently moving to 10% in 2022. However, recent legislative pushes have signaled that the 26% incentive could be available for a longer period of time. Finally, commercial facilities are some of the greatest candidates for on-site solar systems. Companies may leverage existing wasted rooftop space, as the structural support for a solar array already exists. Commercial buildings can also typically handle a larger solar system size and benefit from a lower per kilowatt-installed rate, savings inherent in economies of scale.

Incentives

High return on investment for on-site solar installation is also the result of state and federal solar incentives, rebates, and tax breaks. While state and local incentive policies are constantly shifting and evolving, most states now offer local tax incentives and/or Renewable Energy Credits (RECs) for solar projects. Additionally, the federal solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC) allows residential and commercial solar installers to claim a 26 percent federal tax credit against their solar systems. The ITC operates on a sliding scale, dropping to 22% in 2021 and permanently moving to 10% in 2022. However, recent legislative pushes have signaled that the 26% incentive could be available for a longer period of time. Finally, commercial facilities are some of the greatest candidates for on-site solar systems. Companies may leverage existing wasted rooftop space, as the structural support for a solar array already exists. Commercial buildings can also typically handle a larger solar system size and benefit from a lower per kilowatt-installed rate, savings inherent in economies of scale.

Non-Monetary Benefits

Beyond the extensive financial benefits of installing on-site solar, companies may also gain environmental and marketing benefits. Installing solar reduces a companys carbon footprint and gives the business the ability to take a step back from finite resources such as oil and coal. Research demonstrates that corporate management of climate impacts can lead to improved financial performance, including enhanced return on equity, stronger dividends, lower earnings volatility, as well as reduced emissions and minimized regulatory risk [3]. Investing in solar energy sends a strong signal to consumers that a company is conscious of its energy use and environmental impact, which may provide additional financial gains through public relations and marketing benefits. Indeed, companies including Google, Nike, Whole Foods, and Apple have signaled their commitment to 100% renewable energy by signing the RE100, a global initiative of influential businesses [4].

The Choice Is Clear

Companies searching for innovative solutions to their energy woes should look no further than on-site solar installation. As more and more companies begin to see the advantages of going solar, businesses that are resistant to change and fail to capture these gains will begin to fall behind their peers in financial returns on investment, protection from the effects of climate change, and an environmentally progressive image. When it comes to energy, the solution is clear- switching to solar is simply good business.

Works Cited

[1] Short-Term Energy Outlook Data Browser. U.S. Department of Energy, Energy Information Administration, https://www.eia.gov/outlooks/steo/data/browser/#?v=21. [2] Dirk C and Sarah R. Kurtz. Photovoltaic Degradation Rates An Analytical Review. Photovoltaics: Research and Applications, June 2012, http://www.nrel.gov/docs/fy12osti/51664.pdf. [3] Climate action and profitability CDP S&P 500 Climate Change Report 2014. Carbon Disclosure Project, https://www.starwoodhotels.com/Media/PDF/Corporate/CDP-SP500-climate-report-2014.pdf [4] RE100 The worlds most influential companies, committed to 100% renewable power. RE100, http://there100.org/re100