From branding yourself as a green business to your buying demographic to reducing your business’s power bills on a large scale, commercial solar is becoming a smart option for Reno Nevada businesses, and this article will detail why.
Getting commercial solar for your Reno business comes with a spread of questions. We will explore what to expect and how to make the most of your experience as you prospect commercial solar installers.
As a solar company that’s executed numerous commercial solar installers, some of them requiring technical bravuras in the engineers, we are confident we are able to help any business understand how solar can benefit them.
Is My Business A Good Fit For Solar Panels?
No matter what you are looking to get solar for, you will need to make sure it will work before you go forward. There are several options available; each has its own unique constraints and advantages, although solar tends to help people air on the side of advantages.
Rooftop Solar Redefined: And Carport Solar
Most prefer to utilize unused space. That’s why many companies decide to use solar panels on building roofs and carports.
This is a great option if you have enough un-shaded roof space facing the right south-bound orientation. This option is not good if you have large trees that shade most of your roof line. This is also ideal if you don’t have the space that you need for the system.
A ground mount is a great alternative for those that don’t have the roof line (or roof type) for the solar system size they need. If this is an option you are considering, you will have to take into account what a ground mount entails.
Most panels are 3 feet by 4 feet or larger, and about 4 feet high. And each panel costs roughly $500. A small solar system takes 18 panels or more. A commercial-sized system would need quite a bit of space, and some of these commercial solar installs require north of 50 panels.
Offsetting Your Power Bill: Percentages and Expectations
If you don’t have space then getting a solar array that covers all your energy needs may not be your best option. Solar may not be completely out of the picture for you though.
If you get a system that offsets the cost of your power bill this could help minimize your long-term costs. When you set up a quote with your solar provider they will find what size of system you have the capacity for. This will give you the information you need to decide if solar is a viable option for you.
Reno does get more sunshine than 99 percent of cities in America, so getting a system with a high offset percentage will work to you and your business’s advantage.
Is Commercial Solar Financing Worth It?
Getting solar for your business may require financing of some sort. Solar is cheaper than electricity. But, you have to keep in mind that it is replacing your power bill over the next 25 plus years.
An average home that spends about $100 a month for their electricity ends up spending $1,200 a year and $30,000 over 25 years. Only spending a couple hundred dollars for a solar array would be great, but it’s not realistic. That’s just one of the many reasons DIY solar is not a smart thing to do.
We understand that paying in cash isn’t an option for many. That is why the solar industry has a couple of financing options available for businesses seeking to reduce their power bills.
Three Core Financing Options for Reno and Nevada-based Commercial Solar
If it is not possible to pay in cash, you have loans, leases, and power purchase agreements to choose from. The best option if you can’t pay in cash is to get a loan. While leasing a system may seem attractive, it makes the process more complicated and generates less return on investment over time.
With a solar loan, you make monthly payments on a system that you own. You also get to benefit personally from the federal tax credits allocated for the solar system on your business’s property. Your monthly payments may be about the same or somewhat higher, but once you pay off the loan you don’t have a power bill.
If you don’t care about owning your panels, getting a leased system or a power purchase agreement will allow you to still enjoy solar. The solar installer puts the system on your home and you then pay them to use the equipment. The solar company gets all the incentives for the system on your roof. In exchange, you get power at a lower monthly rate than you currently pay.
What Incentives Are Available for Commercial Solar?
No matter what you are buying, knowing that you got the best deal out there is always rewarding. Through federal and state incentives you can save thousands. Taking advantage of these programs will help you save even more.
Federal Tax Credits
There are a couple corporate tax credits available. The Renewable Electricity Production Tax Credit (PTC) will give a per kWh tax credit. This credit is for energy generated by qualified energy resources, and sold to an unrelated person during the taxable year.
The other Federal tax credit option is the Business Energy Investment Tax Credit (ITC). This credit allows businesses to get 30% of the cost of their solar system back in the form of tax credits. However, this credit cannot occur in conjunction with the PTC.
Nevada State Solar Incentives
Since Nevada doesn’t have state income tax, there are not state tax credit programs available. The state net metering program now credits excess energy at 95% of the retail rate from NV Energy. This rate will decrease by 7% for every 80 MW added in the state until it reaches 75% of the retail rate.
You also have the option to be a part of NV Energy’s Renewable Generations Rebate Program. If you opt into their program, you forget your federal renewable energy credits to them. They in-turn pay you for the energy you produce for the next 5 years.
Commercial industrial and irrigation photovoltaic systems are also exempt from property taxes. This is another great perk to doing the right thing.
How Does Solar Affect Demand Charges?
A demand charge is a charge for the maximum rate you consumed electricity at during the month. Demand charges comprise roughly 30% to 60% of a company’s utility bill.
Three charges comprise your electric bill. These charges include demand charge, customer charge, and energy charge.
If you run a business that is open during the day, getting a solar system will help reduce this charge. If most of your operating hours are at night, getting a solar array may not have as great of an effect on this charge. No matter the time of day, Installing efficient lighting and/or getting battery backup with your solar array will make a noticeable difference in this charge.
Get your free commercial solar install quote today!