Technology improves our quality of life leading to an increasing need for energy to power our technology. Did you know that the average cost of electricity has increased by 33% in the last 15 years? Increasing our use of fossil fuels is non-sustainable and not eco-friendly.
There is an alternative: renewable energy from the sun. The United States has increased the amount of solar energy usage by nearly 300% in just the last 14 years! Up to 60% of new electric generating capacity in the U.S. is from solar energy!
Millions of business owners and homeowners are recognizing the advantages of commercial solar power systems and are opting to install solar panels. This guide will lay out how this choice will help you save on energy and create a better future for all.
Why Should Your Business Install a Solar Power System?
The main reason people give for not installing a solar power system is cost. The initial estimate for installing such a system drives many business owners away. The good news is that the average cost of solar PV panels has dropped nearly 70%!
There are also many other advantages to using a solar power system.
Property Assessed Clean Energy Programs (PACE) is an incentive program that is available in only three US states currently, California being one of them. It's an innovative mechanism for financing energy efficiency and renewable energy improvements on private property. This includes homes and businesses.
Through PACE programs, a property owner can finance the up-front cost of energy improvements on a property. They can then pay the costs back over time, usually as an addition to tax bills. The set time period for the repayment can be up to 20 years, but the cost is associated with the property, not the owner!
Tax Incentives and Rebates
Did you know that there are several Federal energy rebate programs? There is the Residential Renewable Energy Tax Credit, the Renewable Electricity Production Tax Credit, and for businesses, there's the Business Energy Investment Tax Credit. These are only a few of the Federal incentive programs.
In California alone, there are 46 different financial incentives you can explore by going to the DSIRE website. This site will also give you the financial incentives for any state in the country!
Depending on the solar power system you install and the number of panels, you can avoid paying any electricity costs. In some states, California being one of them, there is something called 'net metering'.
Net metering is a method for excess solar energy generated by privately-owned homes or companies to be fed back into the electrical grid. Excess solar energy is whatever energy you haven't used. This means, the solar system owner actually is selling energy to the state for use by others on the grid.
In this way, if you are producing more energy than you need from your solar power system, you are actually earning money from the sun!
Solar power requires a substantial upfront investment to purchase and install the system (unless you are part of PACE). After the initial costs, electricity is produced at no cost to the homeowner.
Home and business owners who do not have solar panels are at the mercy of fluctuating energy costs. If you've ever read your utility bill, you will notice how much more a kilowatt-hour costs during peak energy consumption months compared to the rest of the year. As a solar power system owner, you will not deal with any of these fluctuations.
Another problem that arises periodically is power outages. These can be generated by weather systems and natural disasters that knock out the power grid, or by maintenance or technical issues. With a solar power system involving a good backup battery (not just one that takes care of night-time needs when there is no sun), you are much more resilient to these challenging power outages.
Increased Property Value
The resale value of a property with a good commercial solar power system increases significantly. A recent study by Zillow showed that homes with solar panels sell for 4.1% more. That means an increase in value of $10,000 for a median-priced home!
As a homeowner, you are saving the planet by not depending on fossil fuels. Business owners are also saving the planet, but they also have a commercial benefit. By using green energy, customers feel good about spending their money with them.
What Are the Advantages of Commercial Solar Power Systems?
Solar power for businesses is not just for businesses. Many homeowners opt for a home solar system, however, there are several advantages to using a C&I solar system even on a home.
Commercial solar panels are bigger than domestic ones. On average, a commercial panel is 78"X39" and has approximately 96 photo-voltaic cells. On the other hand, a domestic one is on average 65"X39" and has 72 cells.
More cells produce more power per panel. You get about 20% more power from a commercial solar panel.
Method of Installation
A residential solar system requires the panels to lay flush against the roof shingles. This means each panel is installed more slowly and carefully and the installation time is fairly lengthy, depending on the number of panels being installed.
A commercial solar system is installed using a ballasted mounting system that works well on flat roofs and slanted roofs. It takes only a couple of days to install on a home. On a business, since you have to go through a permitting process and because you'll be installing many more panels, it will take at least a month.
C&I Solar Installation Options
Commercial and Industrial (C&I) property owners install solar panels on roofs. They also have other options like installing panels on carports in parking lots or even large ground-mounted installations. These systems even have the option of having tracking capabilities that will tilt the panels to obtain the maximum amount of sun throughout the day.
Get Ready to Go Green
California is one of the greenest states with 48.2% of energy coming from renewable sources. As discussed already, commercial solar power systems are one of the best choices you can make to join this growing trend. You can go to Google and type in 'solar company near me' or you can get Simply Solar California to help you out because we ARE near you!
With 20 years of experience serving the needs of California homes and businesses with their solar power needs, you can't go wrong with Simply Solar. Contact us today!